By Mathilde Walter Clark
Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken and K. E. Semmel
A cross-continental novel that splices the vast expanse of Texas with a daughter's desire to reconnect with her aging father.
Publication Date: August 24, 2021
When Mathilde’s stepfather dies in Denmark, she is plagued by worries about the potential death of her American father on the other side of the Atlantic. In a desire to catalog her love for, and memories with, her father, Mathilde travels to America and writes a novel about their relationship that she has always known she should write.
Lone Star is about distances: the miles between a father and daughter; the detachment between Mathilde’s Danish upbringing and her American family; the separation of language; and the passage of time between Mathilde’s adulthood and the summers she spent as a child in St. Louis. These irrevocable gaps swirl as Mathilde voyages to her father’s household in Texas to explore a relationship that still has time to grow. At once a travelogue and family novel, Lone Star occupies the often-mythologized landscape of Texas to share a story of being alive and claiming the right to feel at home, even across the ocean.
Awarded one of the Best Books of 2018 by the Danish State Art Foundation
“An all-embracing, touching, and powerful tale of a child’s love and the bond of the family.” —Danish Arts Foundation
“The book is simply amazing.” —Litteraturhjørnet.dk
“Beautifully done.” — Christian Daily, Svend Skriver
Lone Star makes the reader smarter. Wiser about themselves, about the relationship between daughters and fathers, and wiser about what it means to lose both the living and the dead.” —IN
“I enjoyed reading it, being swirled into Mathilde Walter Clark's tale, being delighted with her beautiful language and her fine, touching descriptions of emotions, landscapes, people. It is a powerful tale of exploring one’s origin in order to feel part of a larger whole. —Litteraturhjørnet.dk
“You need to read this book.” —Information, Karen Syberg
Mathilde Walter Clark is a novelist and essayist from Denmark. Having spent her childhood traveling between her mother’s house in Denmark and her father’s in St. Louis, Missouri, Clark went on to live in Buenos Aires and New York and travel extensively across the world. Clark was a resident artist at 100 W Corsicana in small-town Texas, where she worked on the manuscript for Lone Star. She is the winner of the Carlsberg Foundation’s Discovery of the Year prize in literature; Lone Star was awarded one of the Best Books of 2018 by The Danish Arts Foundation. She currently lives in Copenhagen.
K.E. Semmel's work has appeared in the Ontario Review, Washington Post, World Literature Today, Southern Review, Subtropics, Lithub, and elsewhere. His translations include books by Karin Fossum, Naja Marie Aidt, Erik Valeur, Jussi Adler Olsen, Simon Fruelund, Kenneth B. Andersen, Thomas Rydahl, and Jesper Bugge Kold. He is a recipient of numerous grants from the Danish Arts Foundation and is a 2016 NEA Literary Translation Fellow.
Martin Aitken is the acclaimed translator of numerous novels from Danish and Norwegian, including works by Karl Ove Knausgaard, Peter Høeg, Jussi Adler-Olsen, and Pia Juul, and his translations of short stories and poetry have appeared in many literary journals and magazines. In 2012 he was awarded the American-Scandinavian Foundation's Nadia Christensen Translation Prize. In 2019 he was awarded the PEN Translation Prize for his translation of Love by Hanne Ørstavik.