Professor Pernille Ipsen’s Book Nominated for Three Major Prizes in Denmark

Pernille Ipsen
Pernille Ipsen’s book, pictured at the awards ceremony in which Pernille received the Montana prize.

Professor Pernille Ipsen’s book, Et åbent øjeblik (An Open Moment)—a collective biography of her seven mothers and their lives in and with the Danish women’s and lesbian movements in the 1970s—has been nominated for three major prizes in Denmark. Dr. Ipsen received the most prestigious one of them, the Montana prize, given by the daily national newspaper Information, the Royal Library and the furniture company Montana at a widely publicized online event at the Royal Library.

Pernille Ipsen
Pernille Ipsen’s Montana prize is announced in daily national newspaper “Information.”

The Montana prize was decided by eight critics from the newspaper, Information. They each got to nominate one work from 2020. Among the nominated works were one graphic novel, a book of poetry, four novels and two history books. According to the prize description, the committee looked for a piece that renewed its genre and/or described the world in a new and interesting way.

In their explanation for choosing Et åbent øjeblik the committee writes: “the book is unique not only because the author was born into the history—by a single mother, who lived in a squattered and worn-out women’s house, whose other inhabitants took on motherhood as a collective project—but also because of Pernille Ipsen’s impressive ability to collect and weave together a giant material of recorded interviews and archival sources. The result is a thought-provoking, nuanced and wonderfully non-polemical description of a time of utopian thinking and of seven women who lived and shaped it.”