Rock, Paper, Scissors


by Naja Marie Aidt

August 11, 2015
novel | pb | 341 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"

“The emotions unleashed in this tale . . . are painfully universal. Yet you know exactly where in the universe you are. This is the hallmark of great short stories, from Chekhov’s portraits of discontented Russians to Joyce’s struggling Dubliners.”  

Naja Marie Aidt’s long-awaited first novel is a breathtaking page-turner and complex portrait of a man whose life slowly devolves into one of violence and jealousy.

Rock, Paper, Scissors opens shortly after the death of Thomas and Jenny’s criminal father. While trying to fix a toaster that he left behind, Thomas discovers a secret, setting into motion a series of events leading to the dissolution of his life, and plunging him into a dark, shadowy underworld of violence and betrayal.

A gripping story written with a poet’s sensibility and attention to language, Rock, Paper, Scissors showcases all of Aidt’s gifts and will greatly expand the readership for one of Denmark’s most decorated and beloved writers. (Read an Excerpt)

Translated from the Danish by K. E. Semmel


About the Author: Naja Marie Aidt was born in Greenland and raised in Copenhagen. She is the author of ten collections of poetry and three short story collections, including Baboon (Two Lines Press), which received the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize and the Danish Critics Prize for Literature. Her books have been translated into nine languages. Rock, Paper, Scissors is her first novel.

About the Translator: K. E. Semmel is a writer and translator whose work has appeared in the Ontario Review, Washington Post, Aufgabe, Brooklyn Review, Bitter Oleander, and elsewhere. His translations include books by Karin Fossum, Erik Valeur, and Simon Fruelund.


“The dynamics Aidt reveals to us, and which drives her linguistic expression (abrupt, breathless sentences mirroring rather than penetrating the consciousness of her characters) consists on the one hand in the sheer manic nature of late-modern existence (surface haste, stressful energy, frenzied consumption), and on the other in an—if I may be so bold—authentic sexual energy full of release potential.” 
—Lilian Munk Rösing, speech in honor of Aidt receiving the Danish Critics’ Prize