Published 2021, 350 pages
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Bar is Kristian Ditlev Jensen’s new novel about life with large quantities of alcohol.
First alcohol is something you see, long-stemmed glasses and green beer bottles on the grown-ups’ table. Then it’s a pilsner, three glasses of vodka at a party, a few of bottles of red wine at a college dinner—one before food, one with, and some after—a beer in hand when the bar closes, a detour to visit a French wine region, a special bottle of small-batch liquor, a summerhouse retreat to give you the freedom to drink.
There’s the vain attempt to stop, the social pressure, the money that’s gone and a trip to London to escape taxes, more liquor, a few of bottles of wine at dinner, two bottles of gin to get through the evening, and a handful of strong beers before bed. And then an addiction counselor asks the hard questions: Were all the reporting trips to exotic locations really just excuses to drink? What has become of your life? Your talent? What does the end of the road look like if alcohol is your life partner? And if it isn’t?
About the author
Kristian Ditlev Jensen, b. 1971, is an author, literary critic and parish priest. He studied literature and theology at the University of Copenhagen and is a graduate of the Danish Academy of Creative Writing. He has written numerous prize-winning novels, short stories, travelogues and non-fiction books. His most recent novel Bar depicts life with large quantities of alcohol.
Text translated by Sharon Rhodes