50 Danish Novels

My mother and I have decided to read 50 books by Danish authors: books, we think are must-reads. We are therefore compiling a list of books written by 50 different authors and when we’re done making the list we’ll slowly work our way through them, and whenever we finish one, we’ll discus it over dinner at a restaurant or lunch at a café.

We’re still working on putting the list together. We still have too many authors to choose from and we haven’t even really started adding works to the list yet – or deciding which authors to cut …

  1. Vita Andersen: Get a life (2003)
  2. Jens Baggesen: Labyrinthen (1792-1793)
  3. * Herman Bang: Ved Vejen (1886) /Tine (1889)
  4. * Knuth Becker: Det daglige brød (1932)
  5. * Karen Blixen: Den Afrikanske Farm (1937) / Babettes Gæstebud (1952)
  6. Anders Bodelsen: De Lysende Nætters Tid
  7. * H.C. Branner: Ingen Kender Natten
  8. * Suzanne Brøgger
  9. * Martha Christensen: Dansen med Regitze (1988)
  10. * Tove Ditlevsen: Man gjorde et barn fortræd (1941) / Barndommens gade (1943) / For barnets skyld (1946)
  11. * Jakob Ejersbo: Nordkraft (2002)
  12. Jens Christian Grøndahl: Kvinden i midten (1985)/ Lucca (1998)
  13. Katrine Marie Guldager: Ulven (2010)
  14. Kirsten Hamann
  15. * Martin A. Hansen
  16. * Ludvig Holberg: Niels Klimts underjordiske rejse (1741)
  17. Lars Husum: Mit venskab med Jesus Kristus (2008)
  18. * Peter Høeg
  19. J.P. Jacobsen: Fru Marie Grubbe/Niels Lyhne
  20. Carsten Jensen: Vi, de druknede (2006)
  21. Erik Aalbæk Jensen
  22. * Johannes V. Jensen: Kongens Fald (1900-01)
  23. Thit Jensen: Stygge Krumpen (1936)
  24. Erling Jepsen: Kunsten at græde i kor (2002)
  25. Ida Jessen
  26. Christian Jungersen
  27. Christian Kampmann (+ Abelone Koppel: Her Fra (2011) (About Christian Kampmann’s death)
  28. Harald Kidde: Helten
  29. * Hans Kirk: Fiskerne (1928)
  30. Josefine Klougart
  31. Jakob Knudsen: Den gamle præst (1899) / Sind (1903)
  32. * Tom Kristensen: Hærværk (1930)
  33. * Kim Leine: Kalak (2007)
  34. Anne Marie Løn
  35. * Svend Åge Madsen
  36. * Ib Michael
  37. Poul Martin Møller: En Dansk Students Bekendelser (1843)
  38. Dea Trier Mørch
  39. * Martin Andersen Nexø
  40. * Jakob Paludan: Jørgen Stein
  41. * Leif Panduro
  42. * Nis Petersen: Sandalmagernes gade (1931)
  43. * Henrik Pontoppidan: Lykkeper
  44. Morten Ramsdal: Hundehoved (2005)
  45. Ebbe Kløvedal Reich
  46. * Klaus Rifbjerg
  47. * Knud Romer: Den som blinker er bange for døden (2006)
  48. Morten Sabroe
  49. * Hans Scherfig
  50. Hans Egede Schack: Fantasterne
  51. Peter Seeberg: Fugls Føde?
  52. Tage Skou-Hansen: De nøgne træer
  53. Jens Smærup Sørensen fx Mærkedage
  54. Jan Sonnergaard: Om atomkrigens betydning for Vilhelm Funks ungdom (2009)
  55. Soya
  56. Knud Sønderby: Midt i en jazztid
  57. Kirsten Thorup
  58. Dan Turell
  59. Gustav Wied
  60. Dorrit Willumsen
  61. Poul Ørum: Lyksalighedens ø

Deleted from the list:

  1. Kjeld Abell (plays, essays)
  2. Benny Andersen (poetry, children’s fiction, short stories)
  3. Hans Christian Andersen
  4. St. St. Blicher: Brudstykker af en landsbydegns dagbog (1824) (only short stories)
  5. Georg Brandes (criticism)
  6. Marie Bregendahl
  7. Cecil Bødker
  8. Inger Christensen: Mostly poetry, although she has written three novels
  9. Lars Saabye Christensen
  10. Leif Davidsen (thrillers)
  11. Holger Drachmann: Mostly poetry
  12. Leck Fischer
  13. N.F.S. Grundtvig (poetry)
  14. Thorkild Hansen
  15. Johan Ludvig Heiberg (plays)
  16. B.S. Ingemann (historical fiction inspired by Walter Scott)
  17. Frank Jæger (mostly poetry)
  18. Søren Kierkegaard (philosophy)
  19. Julia Butschkow: Apropos Opa (2009)
  20. Palle Lauring (historian)
  21. Kaj Munk (poetry and short stories)
  22. Johannes Møllehave (Christian commentary, memoirs and more)
  23. Henrik Nordbrandt (poetry)
  24. Adam Oehlenschläger (poetry)
  25. Halfdan Rasmussen (poetry)
  26. Bjarne Reuter
  27. Jørn Riel
  28. Ole Sarvig
  29. Helle Stangerup
  30. Henrik Stangerup
  31. Willy Sørensen (short stories, children’s fiction)
  32. Leonara Christina Ulfeldt: Jammersminde (memoir)
  33. Ole Wivel (criticism)
  34. Jeppe Aakjær (poetry and more)

6 thoughts on “50 Danish Novels

  1. I have Peter Hoeg’s The Elephant Keepers Children on my list and though everyone speaks about Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, my favourite of his was the eccentric but compelling The Woman and the Ape.

    Good luck with that list, in an effort to read more European contemporary literature, I recently subscribed to Peirene Press, so I am at least guaranteed to read a few books outside what is normally promoted in the English speaking book world.

    • I haven’t read The Woman and the Ape. I wasn’t blown away by Smilla but I did take a huge break in the middle of it so I will need to read it again at some point. I loved Borderliners – I thought it was an amazing novel.
      I will have to chec out Peirene Press – I don’t even know what it is…!

    • I am Danish ;-) And I think I should know about the cultural heritage of my country. I am not sue Danish literature in general is all that exciting or good but some of it is definitely worth reading – Peter Høeg, Karen Blixen, Hans Christian Andersen and more.

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