Naja Marie Aidt
Even Still These Poems Fill Me With Rage
“There is this illusion that grief is something pretty and neat. It’s not. It’s more like a wild animal. Like a pain you never imagined possible.”
Meet Danish writer Naja Marie Aidt, who experienced the ultimate loss and eventually turned it into a literary masterpiece. Read more …
When Aidt’s son died in 2015, just twenty-five years old, the bereavement took the writer’s breath away and left her lost for words. But nine months after his tragic death, she managed to channel the rage of her grief into writing When Death Takes Something From You, Give It Back: Carl’s Book.
“I’m proud of it because it was almost impossible to write. I was in a state of total despair. I can’t even understand now how I did it. I can tell that it’s very well written. I can tell that all the years I spent on poetry and prose came to me almost as muses to help me out.”
Reflecting on her literary career and the many books she has published over more than three decades, Naja Marie Aidt admits that Carl’s book is the one that stands out: “The way I look at life and other people has changed dramatically. My empathy has grown. My ability to understand other people’s pain is tremendously bigger now.”
Naja Marie Aidt (b. 1963) grew up in Greenland and Denmark. She is a Danish poet and contemporary writer who had her literary debut in 1991 with the poetry collection Så længe jeg er ung. Since then, she has published around 25 books in various genres. Among them are Baboon (2006), Poesibog (2008), Rock, Paper Scissors (2012), and When Death Takes Something From You Give It Back: Carl’s Book (2017). Aidt has received multiple awards for her authorship, which depicts human nature, relationships, and emotions with precision and sensibility. In 2008 she won The Nordic Council Literature Prize for her short stories collection Baboon, and in 2020 she was awarded the Grand Prize of The Danish Academy, the most prestigious literary award in Denmark. Aidt’s books have been translated into numerous languages.
Naja Marie Aidt was interviewed by Anna Winding-Lauesen in her Copenhagen home in November 2021.
Camera: Klaus Elmer
Edit: Anna Winding-Lauesen
Produced by: Anna Winding-Lauesen and Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2022
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