BEFORE I BURN by Gaute Heivoll

Gaute Heivoll has written both a compelling novel and a historical and fact-driven book that examines a series of fires that occurred during two months in 1978 Norway. It is told from the perspective of the author who was born during the year that the arson occurred, as well as from the perspective of the arsonist who was in his twenties when the author was born.

January 29, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Facing History, Literary, Norway, Translated

CHILD WONDER by Roy Jacobsen

Navigating that shaky bridge between childhood and adulthood is never easy, particularly in 1961 – a time when “men became boys and housewives women,” a year when Yuri Gargarin is poised to conquer space and when the world is on the cusp of change.

Into this moment of time, Norwegian author Roy Jacobsen shines a laser light on young Finn and his mother Gerd, who live in the projects of Oslo. Fate has not been kind to them: Gerd’s husband, a crane operator, divorced her and then died in an accident, leaving the family in a financially precarious position. To make ends meet, she works in a shoe store and runs an ad for a lodger for extra money.

September 28, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Facing History, Family Matters, Norway, Translated, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

YOUR PRESENCE IS REQUESTED AT SUVANTO by Maile Chapman

Nestled in the pristine Finnish woods is a sanatorium for women. It’s the 1920s and medicine and its accompanying attitudes towards women’s health is moving from Victorian ideas to more modern methods of treatment, but those shifts have not yet reached the women’s hospital at Suvanto. This vast multistoried building is still part spa for the wealthy wives of the male employees for the local timber company, and part hospital for the poor. This is a building with sharp physical and mental divisions between staff and patients and also between the patients themselves. The poor patients–those who are considered “really” ill are kept on the bottom floors, while the convalescing wives of the timber employees, called the “up-patients” lodge on the 5th floor.

July 15, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, Family Matters, Finland, Mystery/Suspense, Unique Narrative

I CURSE THE RIVER OF TIME by Per Petterson

It’s difficult to compare Per Petterson with anyone except Per Petterson. His writing is always exquisite and precise and heartbreaking and spare. In OUT STEALING HORSES and TO SIBERIA, each word is used as a brick, building one upon the other, and not one brick is out of place.

Per Petterson’s craftsmanship is on display here, as it has been in his prior novels. Alas, I CURSE THE RIVER OF TIME, which explores the relationship between a mother and a son, is more static and sluggish than his other works. Still, Petterson at his less-than-best is still better than most writers at the height of their powers.

August 4, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Drift-of-Life, Literary, World Lit

THE HEYDAY OF THE INSENSITIVE BASTARDS by Robert Boswell

In this collection of stories about life’s uncertainties, Robert Boswell picks up his characters like mechanical toys and winds them up tight, and just when they are at maximum tension, he twists the key one more turn, guaranteeing that they will unwind noisily, out of control.

May 17, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Short Stories, US Southwest, y Award Winning Author