Named by the Guardian as one of the top ten modern Nordic fiction books
'An edgy and unputdownable work of modern literature' Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti
'Ferocious, inventive and unlike anything I've read in a long time' Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure
'A brave novel reminiscent of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting' Laline Paull, author of The Bees
'A fizzing read about sex and identity set in Greenland' The Economist
'A work of a strikingly modern sensibility' New Yorker
'Transports us to a cold homeland where the blood runs hot' Guardian
'Tells stories as old as time, of who loves who and why, but the way of telling is as new as fresh snow, or daybreak after an all-night party' Stylist
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.
In Nuuk, Greenland . . .
Fia breaks up with her long-term boyfriend and falls for Sara.
Sara is in love with Ivik who holds a deep secret and is about to break promises.
Ivik struggles with gender dysphoria as their friends become addicted to social media, listen to American pop music and get blind drunk in downtown bars and uptown house parties.
Then there is Inuk, who also has something to hide - it will take him beyond his limits to madness, and question what it means to be a Greenlander, while Arnaq, the party queen, pulls the strings of manipulation, bringing a web of relationships to a shocking crescendo.
Crimson weaves through restlessness, depression, love and queer experiences to tell the story of Greenlanders through a unique and challenging form. The original text was written and published in the Greenlandic language.
Niviaq Korneliussen was born in 1990 in Nuuk and grew up in South Greenland. She studied Psychology at Aarhus University in Denmark and spent a year in California as an exchange student. Korneliussen started writing in 2013 and is the winner of many writing competitions in Greenland where her debut novel, Crimson, was first published under the title HOMO sapienne (2014). She translated it herself from Greenlandic to Danish. She is currently working on her second novel.
Crimson is written with immense courage - there's no faking the feeling of honesty on each page. It is a brave novel reminiscent of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting' — Laline Paull, author of The Bees
... A work of a strikingly modern sensibility. A stream-of-consciousness story of five queer protagonists confronting their identities in twenty-first-century Greenlandic culture — New Yorker
Crimson transports us to a cold homeland where the blood runs hot — Guardian
It has caused a stir . . . a candid commentary on the countries social issues — BBC
This is unfiltered sexual realism... Niviaq Korneliussen's novel debut about existential pain and release, breaks and reconciliations, shows us how there are many possible roads to liberation, and it deserves to been known far and wide. — Politiken (Danish Newspaper)
With just 171 pages it is a rather short novel, but what it lacks in volume it makes up for in raw masses of content and mediation. This is a wonderful mix of banging punchlines and poetry - it is well written and vibrant — litteratursiden.dk (Danish website)
Korneliussen writes crushingly honest about sex, sexual assaults and social problems, but more than anything the novel is about being true to oneself — Trelleborgs Allehanda (Swedish newspaper)
Crimson is a novel about finding out who you really are, inside this demanding and lusting shell we call the body — Morgenbladet (Norwegian newspaper)
A wonderful novel debut about love and about standing out in Greenland. The book is both formalistically and linguistically exciting - and there are many moving scenes, among which a birth is very beautifully described — Kristianstadsbladet (Swedish newspaper)
Alongside the five main characters you go through the full range of emotions. All is told with the intensity of the young, but what really gets you, is how difficult it is to be a homosexual in Nuuk... The five characters' many conflicting emotions and statements, their use of English phrases and rhetorical questions as well as the alternation between short powerful statements and long, rambling trains of thought, emphasize the dynamics and roughness of the novel — Hufvudstadsbladet (Finnish newspaper)
Crimson 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 (Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize)
Crimson 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 (Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction)
Crimson 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
Crimson is a fizzing read about sex and identity set in Greenland . . . Frank, funny and warmly romantic, Crimson tells the story of five young people in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland and the author's hometown — Sarah Ditum, The Economist
Crimson tells stories as old as time, of who loves who and why, but the way of telling is as new as fresh snow, or daybreak after an all-night party — Stylist
Korneliussen is a welcome new voice in global fiction not because of the specifics of her geography, but because she captures so perceptively and vividly the expansive heart of a new generation — Lonesome Reader
The struggles and concerns of the five young narrators in Crimson - identity, alcohol, belonging, friendship and sex - may be familiar to millennials across the Western world, but there is something reassuringly Nordic and noir about Niviaq Korneliussen's debut novel . . . Crimson is written in a direct, uncompromising, sometimes humorous style, complete with SMS chats and emojis and a healthy dose of profanities . . . Like me, you may never have read a novel by a Greenlandic author. This is a good, if unconventional, place to start — New Internationalist
She's been called 'the young queer writer who became Greenland's unlikely literary star' by The New Yorker, and this is the proof. The story of a group of friends coming to terms with their identities and sexualities in an Arctic town is beautifully told, in part using text messages — Elle (Book Club Pick)