Writer Inger Christensen was born in Vejle, Denmark on January 16, 1935. She enrolled in medical school, but had to withdraw due to financial reasons. She received a teaching degree with a concentration in German and mathematics from the Aarhus College of Education. She was a teacher for a few years before becoming a full-time writer. She wrote poems, essays, short stories, children's books, and plays. Her works include It, Alphabet, Butterfly Valley: A Requiem, The Painted Room, and Azorno. She received numerous awards throughout her career including the 1994 Nordic Authors' Prize. She died on January 2, 2009 at the age of 73.
Susanna Nied's brilliant translation of alphabet won the American-Scandinavian PEN Translation Prize.