Translated by Sherilyn Nicolette Hellberg
Shortlisted for the Danish Critics’ Prize for Literature
From one of Scandinavia’s most innovative writers, a shimmering journey into the absurd phenomenality of family life – and the human microbiome
Now that Æ exists, B wants to survive the apocalypse everyone is talking about. She wants to grow old and wrinkled and withered and shrunken so she can stay in the world with Æ. She wants to communicate with an adult Æ on the phones of the future. Maybe through some form of telepathy, maybe through small strands of DNA – conversing as mother and daughter will, in the future that might be.
Adorable is a haunting, transmundane portrait of a young family told in four parts, in Copenhagen and London. The love between B and Q is tender but worn. When their daughter Æ is born, the everyday lights up in a new way. In its second part, the dead are animated in B’s brain. When B’s father dies, the news is delivered to her by phone and an essayistic, collagist meditation on death and transmission ensues. And then, it’s finally Friday. B and Q descend below the living room floor and wander through a cracked and skittish underworld.
In Ida Marie Hede’s porous world, which is our world too, grime, bacteria, and even death are intimately bound up with health and renewal. Fusing the commonplace and the profound, the material and the spiritual, the elegiac and the conceptual, Adorable powerfully insists that it is impossible to tell where death and life begin or end.
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