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Last Night in Nuuk

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,229 ratings  ·  216 reviews
A witty and fearless debut from a stunning new voice, Last Night in Nuuk is a work of daring invention about young life in Greenland. Through monologues, emails, and text exchanges, she brilliantly weaves together the coming of age of five distinct characters: a woman who's "gone off sausage" (men); her brother, in a secret affair with a powerful married man; a lesbian cou ...more
Paperback, 173 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Grove Press, Black Cat (first published October 30th 2014)
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3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,229 ratings  ·  216 reviews


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Elyse Walters
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“What it really means to be a Greenlander:
You’re a Greenlander when you’re an alcoholic. You’re a Greenlander when you beat your partner. You’re a Greenlander when you abuse children. You’re a
Greenlander when you were neglected as a child. You’re in Greenlander when you feel self-pity. You’re in Greenlander when you suffer from self loathing. You’re a Greenlander when you’re full of anger. You’re in Greenlander when you’re a liar. You’re a Greenlander when you’re full of yourself. You’re a Green
...more
Meike
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read, greenland
28-year-old Greenlandic writer Niviaq Korneliussen is beating the odds: Hailing from a country with a population of around 56,000 which is still hugely influenced by the literary traditions of its former colonial power, Denmark, Korneliussen managed to cause quite a stir with her original writing that shows new paths for Greenlandic literature. Originally published in 2014, her debut novel "Last Night in Nuuk" (US) / "Crimson" (UK) (then titled "HOMO sapienne") was nominated for a Politiken lite ...more
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
I loved a lot of elements of this book, but I think the stuff with a trans character was not handled very well. A lot of it comes from a very cis-centric perspective and another character spends far too much time tying genitalia to sexuality. Having said that, I am a cis reviewer myself so I don’t want to speak over any trans reviewers who have a different perspective! If you’re a trans person who has read this book I would love to hear your thoughts and link to your review, if you have one.
Blair
Originally published as Homo Sapienne and translated as Crimson (UK) and Last Night in Nuuk (US), this novel has been a surprise breakthrough hit for debut author Niviaq Korneliussen. In an interview, the author says the original text mixes Greenlandic with flecks of Danish and English; the UK publisher's blurb states she also translated it into Danish herself. (Whether the English translation is from the Greenlandic or Danish version isn't stated in the review copy I read.) The story follows a ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is definitely my first read by a native Greenlander! Last Night in Nuuk, published as Crimson in the UK, chronicles the lives of a handful of connected late teens and early 20somethings living in Nuuk (map it, there is not much there!) as they navigate relationships, substances, secrets, friendships and sexuality. I liked how the book flipped through different modes, from internal dialogues to letters to text conversations. I liked the diversity of the characters and also their fluidity at ...more
Lou
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crimson, Niviaq Korneliussen's first novella to be translated into English from its original Greenlandic, follows five LGBT twentysomethings living in the city of Nuuk and their journey towards understanding their identity. The key themes the author explores are those of gender, sexuality and relationships. For a very short novel, it packs a powerful punch and is a refreshing take on coming-of-age. Each chapter is told from a different character's perspective, and as well as the normal narrative ...more
Roman Clodia
This is a very short (the description says 200pp. but it took less than 2 hours to read: text messages and white space on the page) quasi stream-of-consciousness novel that has a modern sensibility: youth, drinking, restlessness, depression, love, most of all sexual identities. Perhaps it feels fresher in Greenland than it does in London where this kind of urban angst with hook-ups, gay and/or trans characters has an established place: does anyone turn their head at a young woman ditching her bo ...more
Paula Bardell-Hedley
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paula by: NetGalley.
“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.”
When one thinks of Greenland, the mental image is likely to be of a remote Arctic landscape shaped by glaciers, or perhaps one of a lonely Inuit hunter dressed in caribou skin clothing driving a dog sledge through icy winds. Indeed, this vast non-continental island with mountainous icebergs has the world's spars
...more
Eric Anderson
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No doubt Niviaq Korneliussen’s debut novel will catch many people’s eye for the novelty that its young author is from Greenland, but its real appeal and power resides in its diversity of assertive young voices. The narrative follows five different characters whose romantic and familial entanglements with each other produce moments of self-revelation and big life changes over a night of drinking and partying in the city of Nuuk, Greenland’s capital. “Crimson” is heavily inflected with Greenlandic ...more
Sarah
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
It seems I'm an outlier on this one. For me, Last Night in Nuuk was confusing (the characters all had the same voice), quite superficial, had little character development and was just not all that compelling.

Thank you Netgalley and Grove Atlantic for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Dan
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent article on "How Greenlander Niviaq Korneliussen’s Queer Millennial Novel Turned Her into a Literary Star by Alison Tate Lewis in February 5th Electric Lit.

Whoever thought that Crimson and Clover hearing Crimson and Clover pop up on a '60s oldies radio station would immediately bring me back to Last Night in Nuuk? But there it is: a well-executed and highly memorable novel, even more rewarding and interesting when reread.

@Tommyjamesandtheshondells to score Last Night in Nuuk on screen??
...more
Oriana
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
I grabbed this along with a slew of other proofs at the Strand recently. I didn't know anything about the book or the author, but when I got home I realized that I'd gotten a half-dozen different novels by or about a youngish woman living in or hailing from a country I don't know very much about. So apparently that's my Big Mood right now.

Anyway, this was... fine. It's very young and very of-the-moment. It follows five early-twentysomethings over a few days of their lives in Greenland. There's
...more
Carolyn
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I want to commend the author for her talent and originality in writing a genre-defying book which is difficult to categorize. Nordic literature usually presents us with mystery and brutal crime. This book puts a modern urban spin on the emotions and thoughts of 5 young people during a night of drinking and partying. Told in interesting modern prose which is gritty, bold and edgy, they experience the pain of self-discovery and self-doubt and start the process of transformation into the sort of pe ...more
Rebecca
(DNF @ 7%) I was keen to try this because Greenland has been one of my surprise reading themes this year in both travel books and novels, but this was definitely not for me. I didn’t get far enough into the story to comment on it, but what I did read was drenched in sex talk, with f***ing appearing in pretty much every sentence. One line I liked: “Dry kisses stiffening like desiccated fish.”
Nancy
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It doesn't happen often to me that I finish a book and I feel like starting it again immediately. That said, I love this book. Every single word. There is so much weird wisdom in it and so many odd little details that it's impossible to catch it all the first time around. I am sure this has even more to offer to me than it already did.
The older I get, the pickier I seem to become, so I suppose me raving about this story actually means that it moved me in a very special way and I hope it will mo
...more
Calzean
An interesting and rarely seen insight into the nightlife, loves and partying in modern day Greenlanders. Told by a handful of narrators using techniques that include emojis I found the telling of sexual awakening and various relationships to be very well done by an author of quite some talent.
Shawn Mooney (Shawn The Book Maniac)
I’m too old for this novel, whose prose and characters read like YA to me. Bailed halfway through.
Erin Glover
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, four-stars
Adored this impish lesbian love story. Centers on a group of 20-something friends, lovers, and a brother and sister in Greenland during modern times. Full review to follow.
Cherise Wolas
Youthful angst, bad decisions, bad sex, doomed relationships, tumultuous friendships, all set in in the very small capital of Greenland (population under 18,000). Five characters, each with their own chapter, confused in their own ways, fumbling through youth, sexuality, and each sounding like the others. For me, there was little distinction among the voices, and I had to keep looking back to remember whose chapter I was reading. I expected Greenland to actually be a character in this very short ...more
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
A really striking debut novel, Crimson focuses on 5 interconnected friends/lovers/siblings all exploring their queer identities. Each of the 5 characters has a section and their voices are vivid and wholly unique, revealing and hiding things about themselves and eachother.

It’s really exciting to see an author who writes in a minority language (Greenlandic) being translated into English. Korneliussen translated the book from Greenlandic to Danish herself, and it was translated into English by An
...more
Marie-Therese
3.5 stars

Naive and sometimes awkward, but also truthful, affecting, compelling, and energetic. This fresh take (there's texting! there's hashtags!) on modern relationships among siblings and lovers in a close-knit circle in Greenland's biggest city is not perhaps the most subtle thing I've ever read but it's genuinely touching (like I had tears in my eyes as I read some paragraphs) and fully imbued with a zest for life and for writing that can't be faked. Korneliussen channels her young, queer,
...more
Schwarz Rund
So i finished #nuuk ohne Filter, german translation by @_zaglossus_ . It is a queer book about young people in Greenland and is celebrated by the queer szene. The BookTuber nur_chaos pointed out that there are parts that are cis-sexist, so I started with beeing aware of that, which most times helpes me to get through that. But, and I hate to say that, i really wanted to smash that book at the wall. It is highly moralic drifted (the good, the bad, the love till death, the wisedom of pregnant wome ...more
Nicki Markus
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-lgbt
Last Night in Nuuk is a book I have struggled to rate. I think the issue is that I wanted to like it more than I did. I was expecting a diverse work with interesting LGBT+ protagonists, but I never got to know the characters well enough to relate to them fully. I also expected to get more of a sense of place, considering the setting. However, I didn't think the work really expressed Greenland. It felt like the events could have taken place anywhere. But let's concentrate on the pros. Things I di ...more
Imogen Donato
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt-etc
The only reason this book gets any stars at all is because
1. Every character is queer
2. The cover is nice
Alan
Greenlandic twenty-somethings spiral out from Rashomon-like encounter
Review of the English language translation of "Homo Sapienne" by Anna Halager

This would probably be a 3 in my regular scoring, but it gets a bump to 4 just for the added frisson of it being the first Greenlandic novel that I have ever read. And I just like the interconnectedness of having a single encounter being a pivot point for each of the 5 character stories here. That is what I mean by "Rashomon-like" in the header, i.e. t
...more
Sally (whatsallyreadnext)
Crimson is split into five parts following five Greenlanders whose lives are all intertwined with each other. There's Fia who breaks up with her boyfriend and questions her sexuality when she falls in love with Sara. However Sara is in a relationship with Ivik who is going through gender dysphoria. Meanwhile Fia's roommate Arnaq's love for gossip comes to a head when she reveals her best friend Inuk's deepest and darkest secret, which makes him question what it means to be a Greenlander.

I had ne
...more
Cas
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I’m going to be honest here: I definitely had to sit on this one to sort through it and figure it out before I could write a coherent review. This book made me feel like that time I stayed up for 36 straight hours and started having weird blackout moments where my brain just shut off for a few seconds and reality got disjointed and I had no real grasp on my surroundings but I was insisting that I was functional and interacting normally. Then when I woke up 12 hours later, I had to sit there and ...more
Ylenia
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
This debut novel was a lot more experimental that I thought it was going to be.
Split into five interconnected narratives & point of views, Last Night in Nuuk was ultimately the story of five young people living in Greenland.

I was happy to see the author representing lesbian, bisexual, trans and gay characters in this novel.
Although, at first, I liked the very direct & raw writing style the author decided to experiment with, I didn't feel much for the characters. Some of them felt really
...more
Andy Weston
My first experience of Greenlandic fiction and it’s a very forgettable one, but then again, I am not the target audience for the novel. No regrets though, I’m keen to get out of my comfort zone of reading and read from a part of the world new to me; Greenland attracts greatly. Anyway, I’m sure there’s lots of other translated Greenlandic novels out there...
This is a piece of very contemporary fiction about young people today and their experiences with sexuality, social media and bullying. It wil
...more
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Nordic Book Club: April 2019 - Last Night In Nuuk 1 13 May 02, 2019 11:36AM  

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Niviaq Korneliussen was born in 1990 in Nuuk and grew up in Nanortalik, a small town in Southern Greenland. She participated in 2012 in the short story competition Allatta! (let us write!) for young unpublished authors in Greenland, where she was appointed as one of ten winners. Her short story "San Francisco" was published the following year in the short story collection Young in Greenland – Youn ...more
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