Karen (pseud. for Karen Nielsen) Enevold

1896 - 1994


Written by: Elise Andersen

Karen Enevold was born at a teacher’s residence in Jelling. She trained in home economics, was a dancer, and subsequently a housewife, was married to an engineer, and had four children. After living in the USA from 1925 to 1929, she published her debut novel Nerthus, set in the Iron Age, in 1945. Its visionary fantasy and linking of female spiritual power with the gospel of nature and peace presages her future writing.

After twenty-one years of silence, her true success as an author came with the publication of her extremely well-written memoirs Naja. Der var engang en barndom, 1973, followed by Naja bliver voksen, 1982, about a girl whose dreams of becoming a dancer are irreconcilable with her background. After 1973, her writing became predominantly mythical, for example in the diary novel Et plantageeventyr, 1977, a poetic story about the author’s time spent as a fruit grower on Funen from 1956 to 1964, and in the beautiful, subtle Det leende (N), 1979. Her short story collections Troldkarlens have, 1974, Den 5. dag, 1975, and Kongens nar, 1980, find that children and nature are the sources of hope for a world threatened by nuclear war and ecological disaster. In 1981 she published her first set of poems, Den elektriske stol og andre digte.