LOUISE STIGSGAARD is a Danish journalist. She has lived in Jerusalem, Beirut and New York, where she served as a foreign correspondent on the Middle East and the US. She has written for Berlingske Tidende and Weekendavisen in Denmark and the New York Times, Huffington Post and Narratively abroad.
Stigsgaard holds a Masters degree in Nordic languages and literature. She has studied literature in Paris and international politics at Harvard University. She lives in Copenhagen with her husband and their two daughters.
Natten er fuld af lys
English extract and synopsis
Louise Langhoff Koch
+45 2265 5368
LOUISE STIGSGAARD: NIGHT OF LIGHT
It is morning in Lebanon when Sara Skarsgaard discovers that her former lover, a popular American television host, Bill Buffet, is found murdered in Beirut. The words ‘Mene, mene tekel, parsin’ are cut into his chest in Aramaic, a virtually extinct language that is only spoken in a handful of places.
Why was Bill Buffet killed? And what do these words mean?
In her capacity as foreign correspondent in Lebanon Sara investigates the case, joining forces with a local criminal inspector, Walid al-Masi, who is convinced that Sara knows much more about the case than she cares to reveal. Was Bill conspiring with terrorists, or even an Israeli spy?
The search for clues takes Sara on a dangerous journey into the war-torn Middle East yet also forces her to confront her own past, which now could prove to have fatal consequences for her.
Night of Light is a story about love and revenge, faith and passion, and all those moments which are worth remembering.
The city of Beirut is like a woven tapestry of religious sounds: church bells, chants of prayer, which fray the air with vibrating intensity.
We follow Fathi, who, in the habit of the Lebanese, wears his white coroner’s coat over his jeans. His white coat is left partially buttoned, the hair on his chest and a cross on a silver chain peek out from the top. This lends him a casual air on the ward of the dead.
Fathi slowly lifts the light gray sheet covering Bill’s body. A row of indecipherable markings are cut into his breast; the letters are finely drawn in across his chest, elaborate, yet chaotic, as if toppling over each other.
This would have taken a long time to inscribe; the pain must have been unbearable.
My voice fails and my vision clouds over, first in a haze of white, then in a band of speckled dark grey. Other than Bill’s body and Fathi’s concerned face, the only thing I can remember seeing after this is the matted grey linoleum floor, onto which my body falls with a dull thud, as if a heavy doll had tipped and toppled over.