literature, immigrant history, Scandinavian immigrants, Danish-American culture


Enok Mortensen' s literary career was strangely divided. In the 1930s he published a play and three books of fiction in a first burst of activity that began after most other Scandinavian immigrant authors had ceased to publish or had died. After 1936, however, he abruptly ceased to publish fiction except for scattered short stories , and for many years wrote historical works in English instead. In English too was his charming autobiographical account of A Danish Boyhood in 1981. Who would have expected, then, that his last book would return to the novel form after nearly half a century , and be in Danish once more? Yet this late work is of such importance that it lifts his whole literary career into a new dimension.