Martin Aitken holds a PhD in Linguistics and gave up university tenure to listen to The Fall and translate literature. His work has appeared in book form and in literary journals. He lives in rural Denmark.
Martin on The Murder of Halland:
What I find striking about Pia Juul’s novel is its intense exploration of a human mind at the mercy of emotion. In modern society we tend to pride ourselves on our propensity to analyse and acquire new knowledge and insight. Yet Juul’s gripping portrayal of a woman striving to find a place in her own life reveals so clearly that human emotion is by no means wholly amenable to rational dissection and understanding. We learn to live for better or worse with the choices we make in our lives, often uncomprehending of how we ever got there. Bess reminds us that life is not a roadmap to rational insight, but a complex of entangled emotion.