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  • Published: 26 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241391914
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: $19.99

The Faces




New to Penguin Modern Classics: a searing novel from Tove Ditlevsen, author of the wildly acclaimed Copenhagen Trilogy

Copenhagen, 1968. Lise, a children's book writer and married mother of three, is becoming increasingly haunted by disembodied faces and taunting voices. Convinced that her housekeeper and husband are plotting against her, she descends into a terrifying world of sickness, pills and institutionalization. But is sanity in fact a kind of sickness? And might mental illness itself lead to enlightenment?

Brief, intense and haunting, Ditlevsen's novel recreates the experience of madness from the inside, with all the vividness of lived experience.

  • Published: 26 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241391914
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: $19.99

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Praise for The Faces

The fact that Ditlevsen was herself one of insanity's intimates does much to explain this book's harrowing authenticity. But The Faces - in Tiina Nunnally's very deliberate, close-to-the-nerve translation - rises above a case study because, working from the inside, Ditlevsen is able to explore the surprising contours of Lise's experience: from her point of view, madness can be funny, soft and secure, and far more enlightening than the "reality" it struggles to evade

The New York Times

A searing but never sensational account of a usually hyped theme - the struggle of the artist to do her work, without guilt about family or the outside world. Admirably without self-pity, and often ironic, Ditlevsen is a voice to heed

Kirkus

these are the best books I have read this year 'Praise for the Copenhagen Trilogy'

John Self, New Statesman

Mordant, vibrantly confessional... A masterpiece 'Praise for the Copenhagen Trilogy'

Guardian

Wrenching sadness and pitch-black comedy ... Sharp, tough and tender 'Praise for the Copenhagen Trilogy'

Boyd Tonkin, Spectator

An inspired pick, especially for those readers whose introduction to Ditlevsen's work has been the Copenhagen Trilogy

Paris Review

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