Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis

Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis are the authors of Death of a Nightingale.

From their Q & A with Juliet Grames at the Soho Press blog:

Juliet Grames: One of the main characters in Death of a Nightingale is a Ukrainian woman named Natasha. We meet her in a prison convoy: she has been convicted of the attempted murder of her ex-fiancé and thrown into Danish prison. How did you dream up Natasha’s character and storyline?

Lene & Agnete: Natasha has been part of the Nina Borg storyline ever since The Boy in the Suitcase. At first she was just a young woman so terrified of being deported that she would put up with just about anything—including an abusive fiancé—to be allowed to stay in Denmark. It was only gradually that we began to wonder why she was so terrified. She developed from being a peripheral character, mainly defined by her role as a victim, into something much more complex. Had she been from Poland or Slovakia or pretty much any other East European nation, her deportation would have been immediate and automatic, since the Danish authorities regard those countries as “safe”—that is, territories where rejected asylum-seekers will not be met with persecution. This would not suit our purposes; we needed her to stay around for three whole novels, so she had to be from Ukraine, one of the very few former East-bloc countries still considered so questionable from a human rights point of view that deportation cannot be automatic. As a matter of fact, you could say that not only Natasha’s nationality but most of the plot of Death of a Nightingale was decided by...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue