Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen

Danish translator

Portrait of Johanne Sorgenfri OttosenJohanne Sorgenfri Ottosen

Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen

Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen is a Danish translator born in 1986. She currently lives in Copenhagen where she also works as an illustrator and literary editor.

cover image of the book Sublunar


Alternatingly told by Brahe and his assistants—a filthy cast of characters—Sublunar is both novel and almanac. When not engaged in acts of rampant sexual deviancy, drunken debauchery, or routine spankings, these peculiar helpers and their choleric and capricious master—Brahe, having lost his nose in a duel, is considered the most illustrious noseless man of his time—take painstaking measurements that will revolutionize astronomy, all before the invention of the telescope. Meanwhile, Brahe's hapless peers Erik Lange and Falk Gøye toil away at preposterous and doomed tasks: a commentary on the Apocalypse, and the alchemical creation of gold. And across Europe, the plague rages on...

The second novel in a trilogy, Sublunar is as visceral, absurd, and tragic as its predecessor, Awake, but with a special nocturnal glow and a lunatic-edged gaze trained on the moon and the stars.

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cover image of the book Awake


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. By day Pliny the Elder carries out his many civic duties and gives the occasional disastrous public reading. But despite his astonishing ambition to catalog everything from precious metals to the moon, as well as a collection of exotic plants sourced from the farthest reaches of the world, Pliny the Elder still takes immense pleasure in the common rose. After he rushes to an erupting Mount Vesuvius and perishes in the ash, his nephew, Pliny the Younger, becomes custodian of his life’s work. But where Pliny the Elder saw starlight, Pliny the Younger only sees fireflies.

In masterfully honed prose, Voetmann brings the formidable Pliny the Elder (and his pompous nephew) to life. Awake is a comic delight about one of history’s great minds and the not-so-great human body it was housed in.

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