Thread Ripper is a double-stranded novel about weaving, programming, and pioneering women. A tapestry-weaver in her thirties embarks on her first big commission: a digitally woven tapestry for a public building. As she works, devoting all her waking hours to the commission, she draws engrossing connections between the stuff that life is made from – DNA, plant tissue, algorithms, text, and textile – and that which disrupts it – radiation, pests, entropy, and doubt. In the novel’s second strand, we meet Ada Lovelace, the 1830s mathematician and pioneer of computer programming, and mythical figures such as Penelope, the faithful wife of Odysseus, who wove and unpicked a shroud to put off her 108 suitors.
‘A mesmerizing choreography of textile and technology, archive and memory. With cellular precision, Amalie Smith weaves connective tissue between selfhood and history through vital, tactile accumulations of affect and imagery. Innovative, intricate and achingly bodily, Thread Ripper is a rare treasure’– Elinor Cleghorn, author of Unwell Women
‘Amalie Smith has woven a formidable book about a doubtful weaver and digital technology’s textile past. Everything is beautifully intertwined’– Politiken
‘Luminously cerebral, ambitious and wide-ranging, yet miraculously uncomplicated to follow? An ingenious hybrid novel’– Weekendavisen
AMALIE SMITH is a Danish writer and visual artist. A graduate from the DanishA graduate from the Danish Academy of Creative Writing and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Smith has received numerous awards for work, including the Danish Arts Foundation’s prestigious three year working grant. Thread Ripper is her second novel published in English translation.
JENNIFER RUSSELL has published translations of Amalie Smith, Christel Wiinblad, and Peter-Clement Woetmann. She was the recipient of the 2019 Gulf Coast Prize for her translation of Ursula Scavenius’s ‘Birdland’, and in 2020 she received an American-Scandinavian Foundation Award for her co-translation of Rakel Haslund-Gjerrild’s All the Birds in the Sky.