In the world of Gunnhild Øyehaug’s fiction, the mechanics of the short story are constantly being pulled apart and played with: characters we’ve followed on a bus turn out to be the inventions of the narrator on page four; an omniscient “analysis department” argues with the author about the validity of a story ending; Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil turn out to be real flowers growing by the side of the road and the cause of a woman’s broken foot. But the magic of Øyehaug’s latest collection, Evil Flowers, translated from Norwegian by Kari Dickson, is how these subversions still manage to awaken us to the wonder of real, ordinary, corporeal life, whether our main character is a loner searching for connection on a travel forum or a girl who turns everything she touches into slime eels.
Go beyond the episode:
- Gunnhild Øyehaug’s Evil Flowers, translated by Kari Dickson
- Read “Nice and Mild,” from Knots, her first collection to be translated into English
- Check out her two novels, Present Tense Machine and Wait, Blink, adapted into the film Women in Oversized Men’s Shirts (sadly only available in Norwegian)
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