Sus Sus

Jonas T. Bengtsson is finally back to immerse the reader in the grungy yet poetic world of Copenhagen’s lost souls. His highly anticipated fourth novel tells the story of the nineteen-year-old girl Sus. Though almost an adult in years, Sus could still be mistaken for a child, in fact routinely is. It is as if time stopped, just for her and her family. For her brother in the hospital, grenade shrapnel digging into his brain. For their father, in prison for killing their mother. But time is about to start again, and Sus has been preparing for it for a long time. When the prison gates open, she will be ready.

Sus is a story of revenge: its all-encompassing passion, purity of purpose, and untamed beauty. Award-winning Jonas T. Bengtsson’s new novel celebrates humanity at its very darkest.

“This hard-boiled story of the Pippi Longstocking of Copenhagen’s underworld is quintessential Jonas T. Bengtsson. There’s a unique warmth and empathy in the way he writes about children who are forced to grow up too soon.”
-Sofi Oksanen


Shortlisted for the Danish Radio Literature Prize (Best Novel of the Year) Denmark 2018
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  • “A harsh and unprejudiced story about Copenhagen’s toughest and socially most vulnerable environments, that at the same time displays an understanding that within all of us there is an innate humanity. /…/ Jonas T. Bengtsson can paint portraits and milieus from Denmark’s back-streets like no other, making you suffer with the thick-skinned individuals whom you wish the best for, but, for good reason, fear the worst. /…/ It hurts like hell, and it’s genuinely credible.”

    Litteratursiden, Denmark

  • “Dark and hard-boiled, written with a sober unsentimentality and an intermittent lyricism.”

    Weekendavisen, Denmark

  • “Unprejudiced and full of respect for society’s most exposed individuals, Bengtsson depicts one of Copenhagen’s bleakest sides.”

    Alt for damerne, Denmark

  • “[In Sus] one hears the thirty-seven chapters as much as one reads them. It’s a form of musical exercise in the hard-boiled but humoristic and, most of all, precise and superb musical style that is Jonas T. Bengtsson’s. He is a master in his universe and of his form of expression.”

    Politiken, Denmark

  • “Jonas T. Bengtsson has written another stark yet thrilling and moving working class novel. /…/ He uses the tools of distillation, minimalism if you want, and carefully parcels out the information so that the reader is continually surprised. /…/ The perspectives are small and tied to Sus’ understanding of her surroundings, but [also touch on] the global issues of ever-growing precarity and ecological derailment, the greatest issues of our time. Making this not only an excellent, but also important novel.”

    Jyllands-Posten, Denmark

  • “Jonas T. Bengtsson’s rawness and realism is just as outspoken here [in Sus] as in his previous Amina’s Letters, Submarino and A Fairytale, but in the midst of the ruthlessness one also senses a tenderness, an empathy for the peculiar Sus, which makes me think of Stieg Larsson’s boyish avenger Lisbeth Salander, another literary misfit who takes the matter into her own hands. /…/ No matter what, Sus is quite the desperate and fascinating acquaintance for as long as the novel lasts, and if there is a light in the story’s darkness it must be that, even if one is socially, existentially and in other ways excluded, one can step outside the role of victim and become a doer.”

    Berlingske, Denmark

  • “There is no doubt that Jonas T. Bengtsson knows the environment he is describing.”

    Århus Stiftstidende, Denmark

  • “Jonas T. Bengtsson is exceptionally skillful in portraying individuals from the Danish underworld. /…/ Bengtsson’s novel is a chilling portrait of a young woman from the shadows of the country whose people are called the happiest in the world.”

    Bogpusheren, Denmark

  • Sus is a solid adrenaline rush and a view as well as a scent of a young life that could be, and surely is, someone’s horrible reality. Jonas T. Bengtsson’s new novel, like the previous three to come from his pen, should not be missed.”

    Nordjyske Stiftstidende, Denmark

  • “Bengtsson is a sharp storyteller with an exquisite and fluent prose /…/ With a steady hand he guides the reader into the building blocks where the poorest and most socially disadvantaged Danes live.”

    Kristeligt Dagblad, Denmark

  • “A dark coming-of-age story.”

    Information, Denmark

  • “The Dane Jonas T. Bengtsson has written an uncompromising novel, austere and candid.”

    Die Presse, Germany

  • Sus tells the story of the struggles of those living on the edge of society – it leaves you breathless and is impossible to put down until the very end.”

    Rbb Fritz, Germany

  • “Bengtsson’s words are small and unyielding, like children’s fists constantly drumming on us and consistently hitting those places that hurt the most.”

    Badische Zeitung, Germany

  • “A cruel and realistic portrait of contemporary Denmark.”

    Právo, Czech Republic

  • “A captivating story written by a reputable Danish writer.”

    ForMen, Czech Republic

Photo: Robin Skjoldborg Jonas T. Bengtsson
  • Literary
Reading material

Danish edition

English translation

Rights sold

Czech Republic, Euromedia

Denmark, Rosinante

Finland, Like

France, Denoël

Germany, Kein & Aber

Netherlands, Koppernik

Norway, Gyldendal

Poland, Poznańskie

Romania, Editura Paralela 45

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