Karate Chop by Dorthe Nors
Karate Chop - Dorthe Nors, translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken
Published by Graywolf as A Public Space Book in February 2014, this short story collection shifts “between moments of violence (real and imagined) and mundane contemporary life,” and encompasses both “the complexity of human emotions, [and] our capacity for cruelty as well as compassion.”
Karate Chop, Dorthe Nors's acclaimed story collection, is the debut book in the collaboration between Graywolf Press and A Public Space. These fifteen compact stories are meticulously observed glimpses of everyday life that expose the ominous lurking under the ordinary. While his wife sleeps, a husband prowls the Internet, obsessed with female serial killers; a bureaucrat tries to reinvent himself, exposing goodness as artifice when he converts to Buddhism in search of power; a woman sits on the edge of the bed where her lover lies, attempting to locate a motive for his violence within her own self-doubt. Shifting between moments of violence (real and imagined) and mundane contemporary life, these stories encompass the complexity of human emotions, our capacity for cruelty as well as compassion. Not so much minimalist as stealthy, Karate Chop delivers its blows with an understatement that shows a master at work.