Hunger Heart

By (author): Karen Fastrup

Translated by: Marina Allemano

A few days ago, Karen was a writer and translator immersed in Copenhagen’s creative scene, madly in love with her partner. Now she’s a patient in a psychiatric facility.

Hunger Heart is a sensual, profound work of autofiction about love, relationships, mental illness, and recovery by one of Denmark’s most celebrated literary writers. Fastrup immerses us in the alienations of her breakdown and hospitalization: what it’s like to apologize for threatening your loved one with a knife; how an eating disorder can begin with the discomfort of family and adolescence; and how to make the long journey back to one’s creative life.

But this is not primarily a book of heartache and damage. We are reminded of the electricity of love and the power of language to support our identities and our lives. Deeply courageous, captivating and affecting, Hunger Heart is as much a balm as it is a firework.


Karen Fastrup

KAREN FASTRUP is the author of several novels, including Beloved of My Twenty-seven Senses. Her book Hunger Heart, originally published in Denmark in 2018, was shortlisted for the DR’s Novel Prize in 2019. Femina Magazine named Fastrup one of the seven most remarkable women in Denmark in 2019, and the year’s “Taboo Breaker” for the awareness Hunger Heart created around mental illness. Fastrup has also translated more than fifty novels into Danish by such notable authors as Sally Rooney, Karl Ove Knausgård, August Strindberg, Linn Ullmann, Vigdis Hjorth, and Per Petterson. Fastrup lives in Copenhagen.


Marina Allemano

MARINA ALLEMANO holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and has taught Scandinavian Studies and World Literature for two decades at the University of Alberta. She has translated novels and essays by contemporary Danish writers Suzanne Brøgger, Hanne Marie Svendsen, and Dorrit Willumsen, and has written monographs in Danish on these same authors. She lives in St. Albert, Alberta.


“Author Karen Fastrup conducts a fascinating study here in identity formation and society’s role in it. Hunger Heart is a lesson in resilience and strength.” —Lanie Tankard, The Woven Tale Press


There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
There are no other resources for this book.

Reader Reviews



269 Pages
8.00in * 5.25in * .60in


November 22, 2022


Book*hug Press



Book Subjects:

FICTION / Psychological

Featured In:

All Books



Other Titles by Karen Fastrup

No other books found.

Related Blog Posts

There are no posts with this book.