‘Die Insel’ is a translation of my Danish novel ‘Ø’. The Danish letter ‘Ø’ is a vowel, pronounced something like ‘oe’. Standing alone the letter also spells out the word ‘Island’ in Danish.
It’s a novel about a Danish couple abandoned to their destiny on a remote island somewhere in Southeast Asia. Two days later, only the man is alive.
— There is no Kematian National Park.
— What are you saying?
— Kematian National Park does not exist.
— Meaning what? I was rescued from the island. They found Selina’s corpse on the island. Of course, it exists!
— So, your story is that Selina Quist Hansen died of coral poisoning early in the morning of the 20th?
— It’s not ‘my story’, it’s what happened.
— The consulate has been in contact with the police and other authorities back home. They have obtained certain details about your past. It appears that you received a suspended sentence for violence twelve years ago.
— Let me tell you, not everyone who might claim innocence is innocent.
— I didn’t kill Selina. We were getting married. I had just proposed to her. You have to believe me. Do I look like a killer?
— …I need to know what happened on that island. How did the two of you end up alone on Kematian Island? How did she die? I need you to tell me the whole story, Noa. What happened? Why do the police think you killed her?
This is that story, told by Noa in his jail cell to a representative from the Danish Consulate. It’s a grim and unlikely story, not easy to believe.