Jungersen, Christian 1962(?)–
Jungersen, Christian 1962(?)–
Born c. 1962, in Copenhagen, Denmark; son of a lawyer and a high school teacher. Education: Earned master's degree.
Home—New York, NY.
Novelist. Worked previously as a screenwriter, copywriter, television script consultant, and film teacher.
Danish Award for best first novel, 1999, for Krat; Danish Arts Foundation fellowship; Golden Laurels Prize for Undtagelsen.
Krat (title means "Thickets"), Centrum (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1999.
Undtagelsen, Gyldendal (Copenhagen, Denmark), 2004, translation by Anna Paterson published as The Exception: A Novel, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2006.
Danish author Christian Jungersen established a literary reputation for himself after his first published novel, Krat, won an award for best first novel in his native country. Jungersen's next book, The Exception: A Novel (published in Denmark as Undtagelsen), became his English debut and earned him the prestigious Golden Laurels Prize. The novel is largely set in the offices of a small business, the Danish Center for Information on Genocide, and focuses on a group of four female coworkers. When two of the coworkers begin receiving threatening e-mails, they blame it on one of their own, a woman they believe is an easy target. As the level of paranoia in the office escalates, the tension level boils over and the women's behavior reaches an extreme. Mostly Fiction Book Reviews contributor Eleanor Bukowsky described the novel as a "compelling and provocative work that explores a number of significant and thought-provoking issues," including genocide, the definition of evil, and the complexities of intra-office politics. Andrea Kempf found the book to be "so uncomfortably real for anyone who has worked in a small office that it is almost painful," as she wrote in a review for the Library Journal. "Read it and you will never look at your work colleagues in quite the same way again," proclaimed a critic for the Economist, who noted that The Exception "subtly suggests that, however deeply buried, there may, if provoked, be a killer in everyone." Writing for the New York Times Book Review, Marcel Theroux commented: "One comes away feeling there is a hugely empathetic imagination behind this novel, one that resists allowing us to fall into the simplifying judgments that are a necessary prelude to cruelty. Its characters seem deeply true to life in that they are not unitary, but a web of fluctuating motivations that combine good intentions, self-deception, generosity, selfishness and malice."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Economist, September 30, 2006, "Worked to Death in Denmark: New Fiction," review of The Exception: A Novel, p. 94.
Library Journal, March 1, 2007, Andrea Kempf, review of The Exception, p. 74.
New York Times Book Review, July 22, 2007, Marcel Theroux, "Cruel World," review of The Exception, p. 7.
Christian Jungersen Home Page,http://www.christianjungersen.com (October 8, 2007).
Mostly Fiction Book Reviews,http://www.mostlyfiction.com/ (August 21, 2007), Eleanor Bukowsky, review of The Exception.