The Antarctica of Love
Sara Stridsberg, Deborah Bragan-Turner
“Compassionate and complex” Financial Times
“Stridsberg writes with chilling poise” New York Times
“A haunting portrait of the starkest meanings of love and family. Stridsberg’s literary talent left me awestruck” KATE REED PETTY, author of True Story
**A Financial Times Book of the Year 2021**
They say you die three times.
The first time for me was when my heart stopped beating beneath his hands by the lake.
The second was when what was left of me was lowered into the ground in front of Ivan and Raksha at Bromma Church.
The third will be the last time my name is spoken on earth.
Inni lives her life on the margins, but it is a life that is full and complex, filled with different shades of dark and light… Until she is brutally murdered one summer’s day, on a lake shore at the heart of a distant, rain-washed forest.
On the surface, this is the story of the moment her life is violently extinguished – a moment that will never end, not ever – but it is also about the time before, and about the lives that carry on afterwards. It’s about her children, her parents, her childhood of neglect, her volatile adolescence, and the chain of choices, tragedies and accidents that lead her to a life on the streets and take her into the wrong crowd, the wrong places and, finally, the wrong car with the wrong person.
Sara Stridsberg’s new novel is about absolute vulnerability, brutality and isolation. At times disturbing, this is a devastating story of unexpected love, tenderness and light in the total darkness.
Translated from Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner
The Antarctica of Love is a shocking and beautiful subversion of the 'dead girl' trope. With fierce dignity, the narrator in this elegiac novel refuses to be reduced to murder victim/sex worker/addict; she is a poet, philosopher, and author of her own life story in this haunting portrait of the starkest meanings of love and family. Stridsberg's literary talent left me awestruck -- Kate Reed Petty Already with her second novel - The Faculty of Dreams, which was awarded the 2007 Nordic Council Literature Prize - Stridsberg proved that she is among the finest authors of contemporary Nordic literature ... With her latest work, The Antarctica of Love, Stridsberg has surpassed herself. The Antarctica of Love is a novel that one both rejects and cannot resist. It is brutal and oddly full of light, it is wild and violent, but also full of love and tenderness. * Aftenposten * A disturbingly beautiful book. Stridsberg writes perhaps the most taut and most beautiful prose in Sweden right now * Expressen * A shattering read from one of Scandinavia's truly modern storytellers, in prose that appears both more sophisticated and more accessible than previous works * Klassekampen * The book has a linguistic abundance that fires up the reader with energy and the conviction that this novel can be one of the best of the year * Adresseavisen * Gives voice to the unseen . . . A terrible and beautiful novel with unique moral heft. * Vart Land * Few writers craft such distinct imagery, in such poetic meanderings, with such beauty and precision, as Stridsberg * Svenska Dagbladet * The Antarctica of Love is an utterly brilliant novel * Skanska Dagbladet * Her story becomes inscribed upon our minds, so rich with poetic expressions and prosaic sentences that it is ultimately difficult to comprehend all the horror, since it is wrapped in such powerful words. ... Sara Stridsberg's The Antarctic of Love is this year's most poignant book * LitteraturMagazinet * The Antarctica of Love is Stridsberg's darkest and most powerful novel to date. Here, there is no romanticizing of marginalization ... Here, it's all intense presence and nerve, up until the moment of death itself * SVT Kulturnyheter * An amazing and almost unbearably precise novel * Dagens Nyheter * Stridsberg's language bears the unbearable, and provides a soft blanket that leads us into the worst - and beyond * Politiken *
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