The celebrated poet Tove Ditlevsen’s Copenhagen Trilogy begins with Childhood, her coming-of-age memoir about pursuing life and passion beyond the confines of her upbringing
Tove knows she is a misfit whose childhood is made for a completely different girl. In her working-class neighborhood in Copenhagen, she is enthralled by her wild, red-headed friend Ruth, who initiates her into adult secrets. But Tove cannot reveal her true self to her or to anyone else. For “long, mysterious words begin to crawl across” her soul, and she comes to realize that she has a vocation, something unknowable within her—and that she must one day, painfully but inevitably, leave the narrow street of her childhood behind.
Childhood, the first volume in the Copenhagen Trilogy, is a visceral portrait of girlhood and female friendship, told with lyricism and vivid intensity.