My Work

By (author): Olga Ravn

Translated by: Jennifer Russell

From the acclaimed author of the International Booker Prize–shortlisted literary sensation, The Employees, comes a radical, funny, and mercilessly honest novel about motherhood.

Anna is utterly lost. Still in shock after the birth of her son, she moves to snowbound Stockholm with her newborn and boyfriend, where a chasm soon opens between the couple. Lonely and isolated, Anna reads too many internet articles and shops for clothes she cannot afford. To avoid sinking deeper into her depression, she must read and write herself back into her proper place in the world.

My Work is a fervent, intimate, and compulsive examination of the relationship between motherhood, writing, and everyday life. In a mesmerizing, propulsive blend of prose, poetry, journal entries, and letters, Olga Ravn probes the pain, postpartum depression, housework, shopping, mundanity, and anxiety of motherhood, all the while celebrating the unbounded that comes from the love in a parent and child relationship—and rediscovering oneself through art.


Olga Ravn

OLGA RAVN is one of Denmark’s most celebrated contemporary authors. Her novel The Employees, translated by Martin Aitken, was nominated for numerous prizes, including the International Booker Prize and the inaugural Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction. Time Magazine named The Employees one of the 100 Must-Read Books of 2022. My Work won the Politiken Literature Prize in 2020. In collaboration with Danish publisher Gyldendal, she edited a selection of Tove Ditlevsen’s texts and books that relaunched Ditlevsen’s readership worldwide. She has also worked as a critic, teacher, and translator. Ravn lives in Copenhagen.


Jennifer Russell

JENNIFER RUSSELL is a translator living in Copenhagen. She received an American-Scandinavian Foundation Award for her co-translation of Rakel Haslund-Gjerrild’s All the Birds in the Sky in 2020. With Sophia Hersi Smith, she has translated fiction and poetry by Danish writers such as Tove Ditlevsen, Olga Ravn, and Marianne Larsen. Their translations have appeared in The Paris Review, Granta, Asymptote, EuropeNow, Poetry International, and on stage.


“This brilliant and unflinching work deserves to be a classic.” —Publishers Weekly

“Explores childbirth and motherhood by mixing different literary forms—fiction, essay, poetry, memoir, letters—with [Ravn’s] signature experimental flair.” —Sophia Stewart, The Millions

“A radically funny and ruthless look at motherhood.” —Time Magazine

“A stunning book that speaks aloud thoughts the reader believed had been theirs alone in long nursery hours of the night.” —Kirkus Reviews

“If The Employees asks what truly separates different classes of labouring life forms, My Work opens up a chasm between one woman and herself, who after giving birth “became less human.” —The Guardian

“On the surface, My Work seems quite different in scope [from The Employees]…but something tells me that interacting with humanoids and sentient space objects have more in common with the first stages of motherhood than one might think.” ―Eliza Smith, Lit Hub


  • Politiken Literature Prize 2020, Winner
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    390 Pages
    8.00in * 5.25in * .80in


    September 05, 2023


    Book*hug Press



    Book Subjects:

    FICTION / Feminist

    Featured In:

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