Harald Voetmann

Harald Voetmann

Nominated for the Nordic Council Prize, the Danish author Harald Voetmann (b. 1978) has written novels, short stories, poetry and a monograph on the Roman poet Sulpicia. He also translates classical Latin literature, notably Petronius and Juvenal. Awake is the first in his series of three historical novels: the second centers on the sixteenth-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, and the final book introduces the eleventh-century German mystic Othlo of St. Emmeram.

Awake

Fiction by Harald Voetmann

Translated from the Danish by Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen

In a shuttered bedroom in ancient Italy, the sleepless Pliny the Elder lies in bed obsessively dictating new chapters of his Natural History to his slave Diocles. Fat, wheezing, imperious, and prone to nosebleeds, Pliny does not believe in spending his evenings in repose: No—to be awake is to be alive. There’s no time to waste if he is to classify every element of the natural world in a single work.…
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