The Yellow Room
The final days of Jørgen Mikkelsen. A man of no family or property, a disappointed artist and lover, a reluctant Resistance fighter, a man with intolerable burdens of memory and regret. Alone with his thoughts, a curiously lucid madman imprisoned in an attic room, Jørgen conjures out of his past a parade of ghosts. Dominating Jørgen’s disjointed narrative, however, is the haunting, imperious, tragic figure of Anna Hauge, whose circuits ran up and down the seamy streets of Vesterbro in wartime Copenhagen.
S.K.Johannesen is author of Sister Patsy (Pasdeloup Press, 2003), Luggas Wood (Blaurock Press, 2007), and many short stories, essays and memoirs. He is editor of Blaurock Press and lives in Stratford, Ontario.
Book Review by Andrew Hunt, The Record, Friday, April 23, 2010
“Johannesen’s latest, The Yellow Room, shines on all levels. Like his first two works, it is impressionist literature that explores the inner thoughts and experiences of its protagonist. In this case, the first-person narrator is Jørgen Mikkelsen, a man whose life has been all over the map: artist, anti-Nazi resistance fighter, skilled cabinetmaker and a man haunted by the ghosts of his past.
“The richness of the story is found in its memorable vignettes of the people Mikkelsen encounters in his journeys. The time he spends in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Denmark gives him plenty of opportunities to reflect on his past, and his memories are strikingly vivid. Those memories are the subject of his writings while holed up in a room that is “pale yellow. Almost white where the sun is reflected.”
“…every sentence, every word, is beautifully rendered, like a painting.”
“The Yellow Room reminded me of E.L. Doctorow’s Homer and Langley…. The stories are quite different …. But the two books share a powerful narrative voice in which dialogue is spare, yet the descriptions are so vivid that you remember scenes long after you’ve put the book down.”
Book design by Christian Snyder. Cover art by Susan Benson.