Crimson by Niviaq Korneliussen

The island has run out of oxygen. The island is swollen. The island is rotten. The island has taken my beloved from me. The island is a Greenlander. It’s the fault of the Greenlander.

In Nuuk, Greenland . . .

Fia breaks up with her long-term boyfriend and falls for Sara.

Sara is in love with Ivik who holds a deep secret and is about to break promises.

Ivik struggles with gender dysphoria as their friends become addicted to social media, listen to American pop music and get blind drunk in downtown bars and uptown house parties.

Then there is Inuk, who also has something to hide – it will take him beyond his limits to madness, and question what it means to be a Greenlander, while Arnaq, the party queen, pulls the strings of manipulation, bringing a web of relationships to a shocking crescendo.

Crimson weaves through restlessness, depression, love and queer experiences to tell the story of Greenlanders through a unique and challenging form. The original text was written and published in the Greenlandic language.

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[When I’ve finished my education and have the money, we’ll buy a house with lots of rooms and a balcony]

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(@ViragoBooks, 1 November 2018, first published 30 October 2014, 192 pages, paperback, copy from @AmazonUK #AmazonVine)

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I’d no idea what to expect from this book as I’d never heard of it or the author before. I liked the cover and just gave the blurb a quick read. Boy, did this blow me away. I’m disappointed the book is so short as I didn’t want to reach the end. This is an amazing book. The author uses an unusual narrative structure and each section uses a slightly different style for example one section has small chunky dated segments like diary entries. There are even images of phones with text messages between different characters. I loved the originality of it and the fact I was pulled into the book despite it’s unconventional style. This is a refreshing read about modern life, identity and being queer. One of my favourite reads this year.

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