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The woman is Madelene, rich, beautiful and alcoholic; the ape, intelligent and illegally imported to London by Madelene's husband Burden. Burden has plans, so does Madelene, and so, as it happens, does the ape. This most controversial of Hoeg's novels takes us from Society London, across its roof-tops to a forest idyll, to make for a fable at once hilarious and thought-provoking.
Peter Hoeg was born in 1957 and followed various callings - dancer, actor, sailor, mountaineer - before he turned seriously to writing. After publishing his first novel, The History of Danish Dreams, in 1988, and a volume of short stories he went on to write an innovative crime novel, Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow, which assured him an international reputation. The variety of his talent was amply demonstrated with his subsequent novel, Borderliners, a remarkable study of children that caused controversy within Denmark and beyond. Barabara Haveland, a Scot married to a Norwegian, and resident in Denmark, has translated Peter Hoeg's Borderliners and his first novel, The History of Danish Dreams. She is also translator of Solvej Balle's According to the Law.