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Short stories set in SWEDEN

18th April 2021

Nordic Fauna by Andrea Lundgren, translated by John Litell, short stories set in Sweden.

Short stories set in SWEDEN

This is another short work from award winning, boutique publishing house, Peirene Press, who specialise in high-quality first-translations of contemporary European novellas.They only publish books of less than 200 pages that can be read in the same time it takes to watch a film. They pride themselves on publishing truly big stories in small packages. The books are beautifully printed, short and always have an eye catching, themed book cover, and this compilation of short stories has French flaps, which, of course, work as ideal bookmarks. So, as a reader, you have a book of absolute quality in your hands.

The book comprises short stories set around Sweden, several in Norrbotten County and it is the quality of writing (and translation) that really stands out. These are stories of relationships. There is focus on adult/child relationships, for example, a mother decamps to the attic, a child has to deal with her father’s alcoholic rage. Highlighted, too, are characters who are searching for something from their environment, both natural and manmade, and the reader is left to contemplate whether the humans are looking at the animals or – perhaps – the animals are observing the humans. The fauna of the wild demands interaction, be it a bird in the water or a cat lying by the roadside; but there is flora too, like the bark on wood and the flowers by the roadside, that seduces the characters to respond visually and tactilely.

A woman is on a train and she is reading a book by a relatively local author, her intention being “.. to read her way to an understanding of the place” (thumbs up for that notion 😉)

The attention to detail, observation and the poetic nature of the writing really grabbed my attention…. the consumption of a pomegranate, the dust settling on furniture, the light cutting through consciousness. The call of the wild is never far away, it’s always there when we venture out into the world.

An interesting and thought provoking collection of stories.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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