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Peter Høeg – Lioness at Large

Peter Høeg

(* 1957)

Peter HøegBiographical Sketch

Peter Høeg (born Copenhagen, Denmark, May 17, 1957) is a Danish writer of fiction. He received a Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Copenhagen in 1984. Before becoming a writer, he worked variously as a sailor, ballet dancer and actor (in addition to fencing and mountaineering) – experiences that he now uses in his work as a writer. The 1992 novel Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow earned Høeg international literary celebrity. In 1993 he won the Danish booksellers award De Gyldne Laurbær (The Golden Laurel) and the Danish Critics Prize for Literature for his book De måske egnede (English title: Borderliners).

Høeg has a reputation for being hard to place in terms of literary style. All his works are stylistically very different from one another, and have been labelled post-modern, gothic, magical-realist, to mention a few. There is a red thread to be found, however, in terms of theme; Høeg’s work often seems to deal with the consequences of the progress of civilization.

Read more about Peter Høeg on Wikipedia.


Major Awards and Honors

Danish Critics Prize for Literature
  • 1993: – “Borderliners”
The Golden Laurel (Danish Booksellers’ Award)
  • 1993: – “Borderliners”
Palle Rosencrantz Prize (Denmark)
  • 1993: “Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow”
Dagger Awards (CWA – Crime Writers’ Association, Great Britain)
  • 1994: Silver Dagger – “Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow”
Deutscher Krimi-Preis (German Crime Fiction Prize)
  • 1995: Second Place – “Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow”



  • Forestilling om det tyvende århundrede (1988)
    (The History of Danish Dreams)
  • Frøken Smillas fornemmelse for sne (1992)
    (Smilla’s Sense of Snow; Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow)
  • De måske egnede (1993)
  • Kvinden og aben (1996)
    (The Woman and the Ape)
  • Den stille pige (2006)
    (The Quiet Girl)
  • Elefantpassernes børn (2010)
    (The Elephant Keepers’ Children)
  • Effekten af Susan (2014)
    (The Susan Effect)
Short Story Collections


A Selection of Quotes

Smilla’s Sense of Snow

“There is one way to understand another culture. Living it. Move into it, ask to be tolerated as a guest, learn the language. At some point understanding may come. It will always be wordless. The moment you grasp what is foreign, you will lose the urge to explain it. To explain a phenomenon is to distance yourself from it.”

“Do you know what the mathematical expression is for longing? … The negative numbers. The formalization of the feeling that you are missing something.”

“Some thoughts have glue on them.”

Tales of the Night

“It may be necessary to stand on the outside of one is to see things clearly.”

“The great systems that inform the world about the truth and life invariably claim to be absolutely truthful and well-balanced. In reality they are quaking bridges built out of yearning.”

Find more quotes by Peter Høeg on Goodreads.