With irrepressible urgency, Eika’s astonishing fiction juxtaposes startling beauty with grotesquery, and balances the hyper-realistic with the fantastical. Translated by Sherilyn Hellberg.

After the Sun opens portals to our newest realities, haunting the margins of a globalised world that’s both saturated with yearning and brutally transactional.

Under Cancún’s hard blue sky, a beach boy provides a canvas for tourists’ desires, seeing deep into the world’s underbelly. An enigmatic encounter in Copenhagen takes an IT consultant down a rabbit hole of speculation that proves more seductive than sex.

Meanwhile, the collapse of a love triangle in London leads to a dangerous, hypnotic addiction. And in the Nevada desert, a grieving man tries to merge with an unearthly machine.


The 2022 International Booker Prize
Published by
Lolli Editions
Publication date
Jonas Eika

Jonas Eika

About the Author

After the Sun, his second book, has confirmed Jonas Eika as one of Denmark’s most exciting writers.
More about Jonas Eika
Sherilyn Nicolette Hellberg

Sherilyn Hellberg

About the Translator

Sherilyn Nicolette Hellberg is a writer and literary translator.
More about Sherilyn Hellberg

Jonas Eika on After the Sun

‘There wasn’t any moment of inspiration as such. What there was, was an exhaustion both personal and collective, a general sense that the future could only be a continuation of the present or perhaps slightly worse. The dominant temporalities seemed cruelly realistic. So I wanted to write something that started from that exhaustion and stayed within it, while at the same time insisting on a potential for transformation. This meant remaining open to the unforeseen and the unplanned, in terms of genre and narrative, and on a sentence level too. Feeling literally exhausted myself, I had to write in a way that could surprise myself.’

Read the full interview here.

What the critics said

Jacqueline Snider, Library Journal

‘Set in a dystopian universe, the stories describe each character’s attempt to find meaning and intimacy as an antidote to loneliness and alienation. Eika’s ability to combine foreboding with magic realism generates excitement in this English-language debut.’

Publishers Weekly

‘Studded with shockingly visceral images, these lyrical stories are preoccupied with a sense of psychosexual loneliness that penetrates even the most absurd moments of escapism. Eika’s fusing of the magic realist mode with the alienation of modernity makes for a winning formula.’

The Chicago Review of Books

‘Short story fans are spoiled for choice this month, but readers should still make time for Danish phenom Jonas Eika’s debut collection. Hopping both across the globe and genres, from Cancun to Copenhagen, the surreal to the hyperreal, each piece here unearths a new facet of the human condition, tying his disparate characters together as citizens in the increasingly confounding world of late capitalism. A major new international talent.’

Justin Torres, The New York Times Book Review

‘The majority of happenings in After the Sun are either distorted or utterly unrecognizable, a blend of science fiction and grotesquerie, an orgy of the unpredictable […] The stories are not flawless, and the achievements of stylistic originality, the shocks, often come at the expense of heartfelt connection with characters, but honestly, in this case, it’s more than a fair trade-off, to be pierced and thrilled again.’

Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

‘The writing is surrealistic, granular in its details, and concerned with social entropy and desperate attempts at communion […] In a translation of unsettling intensity by Sherilyn Nicolette Hellberg, the stories derive much of their force from their insistence on transformation. Not only do the settings and characters abruptly alter, as in a dream, but the mood can instantly switch from light to dark.’