Last Night in Nuuk: Book summary and reviews of Last Night in Nuuk by Niviaq Korneliussen

Last Night in Nuuk

by Niviaq Korneliussen

Last Night in Nuuk by Niviaq Korneliussen X
Last Night in Nuuk by Niviaq Korneliussen
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2019
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

The highly acclaimed debut from an author profiled by the New Yorker as her country's "unlikely literary star," Last Night in Nuuk follows the lives of five young Greenlanders exploring their identities at the cusp of adulthood.

Niviaq Korneliussen is a ground-breaking young writer hailed for creating "[her] own genre" (Politiken, Denmark) in her witty and fearless debut Last Night in Nuuk. A work of daring invention about young life in Greenland, Korneliussen brilliantly weaves together the coming of age of five young people in the capital city, Nuuk. Fia has recently sworn off sausage (men) only to discover that the woman she wants is unavailable. Arnaq struggles to cope with her past as her hard-partying life spirals out of control and she betrays those she loves most. Inuk, Fia's brother, is forced to escape Greenland after political scandal implicates him, and confronts the true meaning of home. Meanwhile, Ivik and Sara must confront an important transition in their relationship. In a collection of blurry nights and bleary mornings after, Korneliussen creates a Greenlandic literature unlike any we have known before - young, urbane, stream-of-consciousness, studded with textspeak and delirious with nightlife.

With vibrant imagery and daring prose, Korneliussen writes unforgettably about finding yourself and growing into the person you were meant to be. A stunning debut from a brave new voice, Last Night in Nuuk is a dashing entrance onto the literary scene and establishes her as a voice that cannot be ignored.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Translated seamlessly into idiomatic English, Korneliussen's wonderful novel introduces readers to a notable new voice in world literature." - Publishers Weekly

"Sharp, witty, and cathartic, like releasing a long-held breath." - Booklist

"Tender, evocative, and pithy, this debut novel creates a vivid picture of people struggling for authenticity and voice. At the same time, loose ends prevail, perhaps a reflection of the characters' own lack of resolution but frustrating nonetheless since it's impossible to predict whether they'll succumb to despair or find fulfillment. A powerfully drawn but ultimately disappointing look at the ongoing obstacles facing LGBTQ youth as they come of age." - Kirkus

"Transports us to a cold homeland where the blood runs hot." - Guardian (UK)

"The first of a new generation of Greenlandic writers to find a true relationship outside of her native land." - New Yorker

"I have not read something like this written by such a young person in this way, ever ... [Last Night in Nuuk] has created its own genre [of] unfiltered sexual realism." - Politiken (Denmark)

"Last Night in Nuuk is ferocious, inventive, and unlike anything I've read in a long time. As the actions of the characters intertwine and impact on each other, it is both a raw and bold portrayal of young queer Greenlandic life and a study into the repercussions of finding yourself in a place where everybody knows everybody else." - Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure

"A wonderful debut novel about love and about standing out in Greenland. The book is both formalistically and linguistically exciting - and there are many moving scenes." - Kristianstadsbladet (Norway)

"Last Night in Nuuk is written with immense courage. There is no faking the feeling of honesty on each page and the palpable pain of self-discovery in youth. You can feel this writer's soul as she grapples with personal and national identity and conflict. It is harsh, tender, naked and without vanity – a brave novel reminiscent of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting." - Laline Paull, author of The Bees

"This is a wonderful mix of banging punchlines and poetry - it is well written and vibrant." - Litteratursiden (Denmark)

"Last Night in Nuuk combines the wit and brio of Conversations with Friends with the woozy cinematic hedonism of the Terrence-Malickesque Polish slacker film All Those Sleepless Nights to create a raw and riveting narrative that explores and ultimately celebrates queerness and Greenlandic youth culture. Effortlessly cool, funny yet sad, breezy but thoughtful - this is an edgy and unputdownable work of modern literature." - Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti

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Author Information

Niviaq Korneliussen

Niviaq Korneliussen won a prestigious short story competition in Greenland, when she was only 22. The resulting attention led to her being awarded a writing grant which produced Last Night in Nuuk. She lives in Nuuk, Greenland, travels frequently, and teaches writing classes in indigenous communities in the Greenlandic interior.

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