She grows up in a Jewish family in the shadow of the Second World War when suppression and smoldering antisemitism exist alongside one another. Throughout her entire childhood and during a good part of her youth, she is kept unaware about the fate of the Jewish people during World War II. Neither her grandparents, parents, aunts nor uncles mention anything because there is an unspoken agreement in the family to remain silent about what happened in an attempt to protect particularly the younger members of the family. But the agreement has an opposite effect to the one intended.  Everything that is left unsaid grows to frightening and exaggerated proportions in the mind of the child. The mood and atmosphere of Copenhagen at the end of the 1950’s and the beginning of the 1960’s move across images of the seaside resort area in North Zealand where the family resides every summer in a fisherman’s cottage.

A Place Nowhere is both historical and relevant for our times and is a moving yet unsentimental story about a troubled childhood.

A Place Nowhere was published by Gyldendal in April 2011.


A superb novel

”Even in an international context the  novel’s portrayal  of the Jewish silence after the War and the impact that silence had on the next generation is of extreme relevance today. The novel is truly an impressive piece of work.”


“A fine narration about what it means to be homeless in one’s own home and finding one’s identity in the deep roots of history. Though the theme of the novel is serious Birte Kont has equipped her protagonist with a well-developed sense of humor, particularly when it comes to the many comical paradoxes that arise due to the family’s restriction of certain topics and their simultaneous tendency to talk endlessly without really saying anything at all.”


”Birte Kont has written an excellent Bildingsroman about a Jewish girl’s coming of age in the 1950’s and ´60´s. It is a brutal story of the inevitable cost of silence when grown-ups choose to protect themselves from the painful task of unravelling their past. But it is also an entertaining story about growing up as a child and youth in Copenhagen during the 1960’s.”


Birte Kont Has Perfect Pitch for the Unsaid
”It’s an impressive piece of work. The fact that the novel is a portrayal of that which is left untold and the crucial role that it plays for our nameless protagonist  is precisely what  makes Birte Kont’s novel so special. It is empathic yet at the same time perceptive while never betraying the people nor the environment it depicts. It also extends far beyond the ordinary portrayal of what it means to be of a minority group and deals with an aspect of human existence that is universal and which is what lifts A Place Somewhere, Nowhere above most other novels this season.”


”An excellent little Bildingsroman that is filled both with humor and insight. Birte Kont has written an excellent little novel about a childhood amongst traumatized Danish Jews. The basic theme of the book addresses the necessity of knowing one’s own history in order to not only embrace it but, also to have the ability to get on with one’s life. ”


”A beautiful and clever book about a girl who finally manages to find herself, her lineage and her closest family. In general, Birte Kont artfully manages to provide a precise and convincing depiction of her characters, and almost always with a twinkle in her eye.”


”A Place Somewhere, Nowhere is an excellent narration. It is told lovingly and in a subdued voice but, also with a fair amount of humor. It is a story about having to know, who you are before you can become what you are. ”


”A beautiful, sensual novel about a little girl who, due to a misunderstood view on protection on the part of her family, is kept unaware of her Jewish family’s past.”

LEKTØR (Purchasing consultant for libraries) PER MÅNSON

An excerpt of the novel was published by the American online journal JewishFiction.net in March, 2019.   

The rights for the publication of A Place Nowhere was purchased by the American publisher Spuyten Duyvil in August 2020.