Coming-of-age novel wins debut prize

The 29-year-old author Morten Pape, who has just published his first novel Planen (The Plan), received the prestigious Danish Debutant Award in November 2015.

The Plan 

The Plan is a coming-of-age story about being a child, growing up, falling in love and trying to find yourself in a multicultural microcosm. At the same time, it is a historical novel about the human cost of the failed integration policies of the 1990s and the hostile immigration debates of the 2000s, which culminated in caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, gang warfare and a capital city that was set aflame.

Morten is growing up in Copenhagen’s Urbanplanghetto, the worst conceivable start in life. He is intelligent, more talented than his schoolfellows, and dreams of making it as an actor. But he’s clinging to the dream under impossible conditions in a sleazy and culturally deprived environment characterized by violence and crime, surrounded by the lower classes’ self-perpetuating ‘who-do-you-think-you-are’ attitude, which more than anything else reinforces his and his friends’ conviction that they’ll never amount to anything. When Morten’s parents get divorced, it sets off a chain reaction of disappointments that turns everything on its head, and gradually the quiet, nerdy boy starts to identify more and more with his immigrant friends and their hatred and rage towards society – and not least towards themselves.


Morten Pape (born 1986) grew up in the Urbanplan development in Copenhagen. He is currently studying scriptwriting at the alternative Danish film school Super16. The Plan is his debut novel.

Read a Sample Translation of the Plan

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