Portrait and book frontpage
Photo: Jeppe Bøje Nielsen


Onions bring tears
(Løg trækker tårer)
Published 2019, 173 pages



Foreign rights

Gyldendal Group Agency
Lise Broen Rosenberg Dahm:

Previous titles sold to

Norway, Sweden, Latvia, US, France, Estonia, Netherlands,
Germany, Bulgaria


Onions bring tears

The day Wendy turns seventy-four she is fed up: her husband forgets her birthday – no flowers, no card – she is peeling onions, her eyes tear up, the extractor fan deafens out the radio, her mailbox is jammed. Enough is enough, and Wendy decides to up and leave her husband. As soon as she gets a chance, she puts on her wolf fur coat, grabs her handbag and walks out the back door. She takes the train to Copenhagen and checks into a hotel. The day after, Wendy, a petite woman in her coat, manages to slip into the foyer of an apartment block and sneak up to a vacant flat on the second floor. Here the two of them – Wendy and her wolf fur coat – camp out in secret together which gradually begins to take on more and more human-like qualities…

Onions Bring Tears is about taking a stand; recognizing that you are in a place you do not care to be, taking stock and changing your life. Wendy takes responsibility for her life, decides to go the distance – and discovers new avenues opening up to her along the way.


About the author 

Dorrit Willumsen (b. 1940) made her debut in 1965 with the short story collection Knagen (The Hook). She has written a long line of novels, short stories and poetry collections, most recently, the critically acclaimed novel Nær og Fjern (Near and Far) in 2015, and Onions Bring Tears, which was published in September 2019. The brilliance of Dorrit Willumsen’s work has been acknowledged with several prizes, and in 1997 she was awarded the ultimate Scandinavian literary prize, the Nordic Council’s Prize for Bang, her biographical novel about the 19th century Danish author Herman Bang.

Text translated by Lin Falk van Rooyen