Kristian Bang Foss est né au Danemark en 1977. Après avoir tout d’abord entamé des études de mathématiques et de physique, il sort diplômé de l’Académie danoise des écrivains en 2003.
Paru en 2004, son premier roman, Fiskens vindue (en français, litt. : « La Fenêtre du poisson »), a impressionné les critiques par son style et ses descriptions précises d’activités quotidiennes apparemment banales. Vient ensuite Stormen i 99 (« La Tempête de 99 ») en 2008. Le roman, empreint d’un délicieux humour noir, se déroule dans un lieu de travail ordinaire qui devient l’épicentre de calomnies, de jeux de pouvoir et d’une série d’événements absurdes.
Son roman Døden kører Audi (La Mort roule en Audi¸2015 pour l’édition française) – usant, avec son humour absurde, des caractéristiques du « road novel » traditionnel – est un conte satirique sur l’État-providence danois, qui emmène ses personnages en voyage à travers l’Europe jusqu’au Maroc en quête d’un guérisseur.
Film rigths sold to Zentropa (Denmark)
Theater rights sold to Odense Teater (Denmark)
Translated by Paul Russell Garrett
Another expression we were fond of was “plump pillows for side sleepers”. We picked it up in Ikea, on a trip to get Waldemar a new lamp. We discovered it on a completely geniotic diagram in the bedroom department, where, depending on your sleeping position - on your back, stomach, side, etc. - you could find out which size pillow you should be using. We repeated it constantly; it even ousted dreamsweets for a time. When we got tired of just saying, ‘plump pillows for side sleepers,’ and of asking in shops if they had plump pillows for side sleepers, we began to make small variations on the theme, and the conversation would go something like this:
‘Are you going to buy a new pillow soon, Waldemar?’
‘How plump is the pillow going to be?’
‘It’s going to be disgustingly plump.’
‘Because I’m a side sleeper.’
One day, it went so far that we actually petitioned the council to get Waldemar a plumper pillow. Our reasoning was that he had just discovered he was a side sleeper. The case handler wanted to see documentation, so we had Waldemar’s doctor write a declaration that he needed a plump pillow on health grounds. And when the council gave us carte blanche for pillow-buying, we took a trip to Ikea. We agreed that Waldemar should say, ‘My name is Waldemar, I’m a side sleeper and I would like the plumpest pillow you’ve got.’
In front of Ikea, we smoked a joint. Waldemar rolled his wheelchair towards the automatic doors; the glass slid away with a whistle and I stood by his side saying, ‘Do you hear that Waldemar? That’s the door to pillow heaven opening wide.’
On our way to the department with pillows and duvets and all that, we passed through the furniture showroom, where one chair in particular caught our attention. It was called the Jerker and I shouted, ‘Look, they’ve got a chair called the Jerker!’ We both cried with laughter and I had to sit in the chair for a minute to recover. A couple in their late thirties came by; they looked unspeakably self-important and were clearly considering buying a Jerker, so I got up to let them study it in peace.