Monthly Archives: February 2022

Oddny Eir : Land of Love and Ruins

Having been a life-long journal keeper I am always interested in reading the journals of others. Mine are probably not of much interest to anyone except myself. Many years ago I was writing in my journal after dinner and my mother-in-law asked,

‘What have you just written?’

I read the words out to her,

‘I hear the washing machine spin out of balance’. She said nothing but I could tell by her expression she was deeply unimpressed. Continue reading Oddny Eir : Land of Love and Ruins

Per Petterson : Men in My Situation

Per Petterson has had a tragic life. In 1990 his parents, his brother, and his niece all died in the Scandinavian Star ferry disaster, where passengers were trapped in a fire. The case is still under investigation, and it appears it was a deliberate scheme to scuttle the boat for insurance purposes. In the Wake, published in 2002, was the first novel in which he wrote about this. His character Arvid Jansen, whom he describes as not an alter ego but a ‘stunt man’ is here shown to be overwhelmed by grief. He has lost his parents and his marriage has broken down. Continue reading Per Petterson : Men in My Situation

Deborah Levy : Real Estate

Real Estate is the third in Deborah Levy’s trilogy of what she calls ‘living autobiography.’ In The Cost of Living Levy relates how she (or the ‘I’ character who is close to her, if not actually her) leaves her marriage of twenty-three years when her daughters have come to late teenage years. She moves from the family home to a place of her own, a flat in a ‘crumbling apartment block’. Some of that story is about her search for a writing space and the way she gradually creates a new life for herself and her daughters while still maintaining a fairly amicable relationship with their father. Continue reading Deborah Levy : Real Estate