Finalist for the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Translated Literature
Longlisted for the 2020 PEN Translation Award
An unflinchingly raw and lyrical exploration of a mother's grief and how it transforms her relationship to time, reality, and language.
In March 2015, Naja Marie Aidt's twenty-five-year-old son, Carl, died in a tragic accident. When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back chronicles the few first years after that devastating phone call. It is at once a sober account of life after losing a child and an exploration of the language of poetry, loss, and love. Intensely moving, When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back explores what it is to be a family, what it is to love and lose, and what it is to treasure life in spite of death's indomitable resolve.
Naja Marie Aidt was born in Greenland and raised in Copenhagen. She is the author of eleven collections of poetry, a novel, and three short story collections, including Baboon, which won the 2008 Nordic Council Literature Prize. Her work has been translated into sixteen languages. Denise Newman is a translator and poet who has published three collections of poetry. She has translated two books by Denmark's Inger Christensen. Her translation of Naja Marie Aidt's short-fiction collection Baboon won the 2015 PEN Translation Prize.