Copenhagen, in good times and bad

The Copenhagen Trilogy: Childhood — Youth — Dependency
By Tove Ditlevsen
384 pp. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. $30.

This is a deceptively easy read. The language is clear, crisp, and simple — major kudos to Tiina Nunnally for her superb translation — and yet these words have the most lingering effect.

Each part of this trilogy is distinct for its own reasons, but it was “Dependency” that truly floored me. Unbelievably harrowing, “Dependency” delves into the author’s addiction to opioids with such effect that you can’t help but utter exclamations and remain perched on the edge of your seat.

I’ve never read about the lure and pain of addiction in such a compelling way before, but I’m also not sure I’ve ever read about the desire for acclaim, for love, in such a way either.

This deserves all the attention that’s come its way, and takes its place among the best works by the other writers of the “auto-fiction” genre — Knausgård, Ferrante, and Ernaux.

Truly an experience to be savored.


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