Photo: Lea Meilandt


If You Didn’t Know Better
(Hvis man ikke vidste bedre)
Published 2021, 207 pages


Gutkind Forlag

Foreign rights:

Gutkind Forlag,


If You Didn’t Know Better

A woman returns to the town where she lived with her husband and daughter. She has been away for a long time; she’s gotten older and, perhaps, wiser. In the reunion she is confronted by her choices and the community to which she never really belonged. She remembers her struggle to find her place as a mother and wife, to live up to the expectations of her time and gender.

If You Didn’t Know Better continues the examination of the close and difficult relationships that Lotte Kirkeby began exploring in her first two books.

The novel depicts a woman who nourishes a deep and sometimes difficult love for her family and the rural town that has persisted in her memory and will not let go.

About the author 

Lotte Kirkeby, b. 1970, has worked as an editor, journalist, reviewer and translator. She made her debut in 2016 with the short-story collection Anniversary (Jubilæum). Her first novel The Closest (De nærmeste) came out in 2019 and was nominated for the DR Novel of the Year Prize. With If You Didn’t Know Better Kirkeby continues her examination of the often difficult relationships that are alternately close and distant.

Text translated by Sharon Rhodes