Tove Ditlevsen

The Trouble with Happiness
  • The Trouble with Happiness

  • A shimmering collection of stories from the author of The Copenhagen Trilogy, translated into English for the first time

    From one of Denmark's most celebrated writers and the author of Childhood, Youth and Dependency, these short stories are brief, devastating, acid-sharp portrayals of love, marriage and family in mid-century Copenhagen. Here the ordinary events of everyday life - a wife anxious not to wake her husband, a little boy losing his father's beloved knife, a married woman's obsessive longing for a yellow silk umbrella, a girl dreaming of a masquerade ball - become dark and disconcerting, as we see what lies beneath. Translated into English for the first time, these are stories that explore yearning, fear, despair and the elusiveness of that strange thing called happiness.

    Translated by Michael Favala Goldman

Tove Ditlevsen was born in 1917 in a working-class neighbourhood in Copenhagen. Her first volume of poetry was published when she was in her early twenties, and was followed by many more books, including her three brilliant volumes of memoir, Childhood (1967), Youth (1967) and Dependency (1971). She married four times and struggled with alcohol and drug abuse throughout her adult life until her death by suicide in 1978.

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