Hummerens skjold

Novel (Danish and Swedish)

Caroline Albertine Minor: Hummerens skjold, 2020


Have you been in touch with the other side today? Hummerens skjold (The lobster’s shield) punctures the mouthpiece between the living and the dead and asks what the two “states” can do for each other. The question begins the novel and ends it. Along the way, it also pops up. The contact with the dead isin other words a framework about the narrative that one must relate to. A frame that in the introduction does not give the subject a starting point that is strong enough, which is why the whole construction is waiting, uncertain throughout the book.

The three siblings Ea, Niels and Sidsel, who are the focal points of the novel, live very different lives. Niels lives alone and has no permanent residence. He is a poster writer and “travels a city of knowledge in his brain“. Sister Ea is a bonus mother to Coco and pairs up with Hector in San Francisco. “(…) Motherhood vibrated at a frequency she did not pick up”, and she is afraid of making wrong decisions. Sister Sidsel – curator in Copenhagen – is Laura’s single mother and fights with baby worms and lice. The parents of the three siblings are dead, but the mother Charlotte has a firm grip on Ea. Exactly why Ea seeks clairvoyance assistance to find out, all the while Sidsel gets a unique career opportunity to travel to London and repair a loaned bust. A small meeting with a person from the past also sneaks in.

This novel has an omniscient narrator who zaps in and out of the characters in Hummerens Skjold – a novel with an approach to a short story collection.