Nors’ writing is by turns witty, gut wrenching, stark and lyrical. Her characters seesaw between longing for human connection and the space in which to lick their wounds. That she achieves all this while experimenting with form is something of an impossible feat...Two riffs on a shared theme, these novellas do invite comparison to one another, but they bolster one another too. Paired as a single volume, Nors has created an exciting and artful literary diptych.
Getting dumped: It happens to everyone. But when it happens to you, the agony seems unique in the annals of suffering. Danish writer Dorthe Nors covers the emotional spectrum of the experience in the two playfully experimental novellas of So Much for That Winter, finding as much material in the comedy of rejection as in its humiliations and heartbreak...The delightful 'Minna Needs Rehearsal Space' begins as a young Copenhagen composer is dropped by her boyfriend via text message in favor of a sexy pop musician...It’s here that Ms. Nors’s impish wit stands out.
Nors is plainly taking on the tight emotional space of the digital and attempting to do what she always does: zap it with lightning to make it grow bigger. The first novella, titled 'Minna Needs Rehearsal Space,' is written in 'headlines.' I’ll confess now that I don’t entirely understand what that means, but the single line units that form the story resemble something like blog titles or status updates. In their declarative nature, too, they resist description (in a way not unlike the sentences and stories of Diane Williams), but it helps that the protagonist, Minna, has a coherent inner life, and that minor characters emerge...It’s the second, succinctly-titled novella, 'Days,' that opened my eyes to the radicality of what Nors is doing.