The Copenhagen Trilogy, by Tove Ditlevsen  

 

The Copenhagen Trilogy, by Tove Ditlevsen

Technically, Ditlevsen’s memoirs first appeared in Danish in the late 1960s and early ’70s — three short, vibrant forays into the author’s young life in pre- to post-World War II Denmark, where she scrapped for secretarial jobs, fell in with touchy older mentors, and eventually rose to prominence. The trilogy’s publication this year in English (in one convenient volume) sparked a Tove craze. The author is candid about everything from botched abortions to the stultifying nature of life under Nazi rule. An edgier A Tree Grows in BrooklynThe Copenhagen Trilogy is a discomfiting charmer that avoids the worst pitfall of the genre by refusing to turn into a redemption tale.