The highly acclaimed debut from an author profiled by the New Yorker as her country's 'unlikely literary star,' Last Night in Nuuk follows the lives of five young Greenlanders exploring their identities at the cusp of adulthood.
... startling and beautiful ... Youthful angst is well-worn territory, of course, but nothing about Last Night in Nuuk is trite or overfamiliar. Each character is drawn carefully and with compassion, but Korneliussen refuses to make any of them either flawless angels or irredeemable jerks. They're all painfully human, fumbling through their youth and sexualities, all in vastly different ways. And crucially, they all have voices of their own ... Korneliussen... knocks it out of the park. Last Night in Nuuk is a stunning book, at once audacious and honest, sorrowful and triumphant, and Korneliussen seems certain to have a remarkable career ahead of her.
A novel that gripped me from the very first page with its intensity, freshness, and humor. The novel is short, only around two hundred pages, but it moves like a bullet: powerful, emotionally dense, and over much more quickly than I wanted it to be ... There’s an earnestness to Last Night in Nuuk that would be cheesy in another book; wrapped in Korneliussen’s prose, however, it works ... Together, these five voices form a story of tenderness and courage that comes despite the hedonism of their youth, or maybe because of it ... Even in the darkest times of one’s life, when friends humiliate us, when our lovers cheat, and when we feel most alone, Last Night in Nuuk tells us to remain optimistic
The characters are all handled tenderly and with obvious care, and each stream of consciousness narrative can stand alone but fit neatly into this larger work ... For a book so focused on character, it is somewhat disappointing that the protagonists’ voices can blur together at times, with Inuk’s being the exception. Thankfully, the propulsive nature of each individual’s narrative—urgent, tense, and full of intentional rough edges that allow emotions to shine through—largely compensates for this. With Last Night in Nuuk, Korneliussen has crafted a convincing, nuanced depiction of what it feels like to be young and out of control while allowing us to inhabit a world that has been infrequently, if ever, presented to American readers.