Photo: Kajsa Gullberg


The Daphne Syndrome
Published 2021, 222 pages


Lindhardt og Ringhof

Foreign rights:

Copenhagen Literary Agency,

Previous sold to:

France, Italy, Holland, US, Hungary


The Daphne Syndrome

Inspired by the classic Greek myth of the nymph Daphne, who is transformed into a tree in attempt to escape the lustful pursuit of the god Apollo, Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen has written a shapeshifting novel in three parts: The Daphne Syndrome, a modern tale of metamorphosis, escape, transcending oneself, and becoming one with nature.
On a sticky summer day in the ‘90s, Miki arrives at a new school in the countryside. While trying to break free of his mother he is drawn to Laura, his first love, who leads him towards utter dissolution.
136 years later, anthropologists interview Miki’s mother, who has developed an exoskeleton on the outside of her body like that of an insect. She tells them about life before the digital disarmament and the seawalls, about her childhood, her son, and life from a perspective that is no longer purely human.
Finally, in a powerful lyrical monologue, we meet the nymph Daphne who 4,000 years ago became a tree to save herself from being raped. And she’s filled with rage.

About the author 

Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen is an author, translator and critic. Her work often engages with feminist and climate issues and the intersection of these. Her books have been published to critical acclaim in Italy (where it became a bestseller), France, the Netherlands. Her debut Island was recently published in the UK and US, and was awarded the international MARetica Award and nominated for Bogforum’s Best Debut.