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Launch: Elastic by Johanne Bille: In conversation with Octavia Bright

25th July 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Please join us for the launch of ELASTIC, a new novel by Danish author Johanne Bille, tr. Sherilyn Hellberg, published by Barbican-based Lolli Editions. Johanne Bille will be in conversation with Octavia Bright.

When Alice is with Mathilde, her experience of the world shifts, as though Mathilde brings with her a force that charges everything around her: the park bench, the sticky linoleum floor of the supermarket, their interlocked hands, the buttons on a winter coat. But Mathilde is also mercurial and “perfectly” married to Alexander, and Alice is moving into a bigger flat with Simon who has just returned to her life. Alice’s precarious solution is to proceed into a quadrilateral relationship, impatient to define her own outline in the eyes of others.

In Elastic, Bille cleanly gleans the nebulous distinctions between love, sex and intimacy, exerting a softly fragmentary style that underpins Alice’s vacillations.

“Elastic is first and foremost a tale of Alice and her fumbling attempts to set love free. But it is the novel’s lonely, heartfelt voice and its unromantic depiction of love that gets stuck into your bones.” – ATLAS

“There is something Saganesque about Elastic and its depiction of open love affairs and the complicated triangulations, mirroring and conflicts they might entail.” – Politiken

“A novel that speaks quietly and yet insistently of the loneliness of being in love and the feeling of being trapped in one’s own body.” – Information

“An excellent novel.” – Litteraturformidleren

“Elastic is difficult to let go of. It left me with the feeling of being seen. And not just seen: seen through.” – POV International

Johanne Bille is a Danish novelist based in Copenhagen. Elastic is her second novel and her first to appear in English translation, originally published in Danish by Forlaget Gladiator in 2018.

Sherilyn Hellberg is a literary translator. In 2018, she received an American-Scandinavian Foundation Award for her translation of Caspar Eric’s Nike.


25th July 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm