Books by Linda Schenck

THE SPRING by Kerstin Ekman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 25, 2002

This second volume (originally published in 1976) of Ekman's famous tetralogy (1974-83) about the coming of industrialism to late 19th-century Sweden focuses on the lives of three variously embattled women. Bakery owner (and drudge) Tora struggles against the imperatives of a male-dominated culture that envisions most females as domestic servants—a fate passively endured by Frida, an overburdened washerwoman, and resisted by young Ingrid, a passionate firebrand who's determined to have a formal education and rise above her imprisoning environment. Ekman's masterly dramatizations of the contrasts between home and hearth and the intimidating wider world beyond them—whose uncertainty is crystallized in the recurring theme of the need for pure drinking water—as well as her precise characterizations and robust humor, make this moving novel (after Witches' Rings, 1997) an essential component of what begins to look like an extended work of major importance. Read full book review >
APRIL WITCH by Majgull Axelsson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2001

This award-winning 1997 Swedish novel shapes a complex family melodrama from an entirely original premise: the "connection" between a psychic, inexplicably omniscient invalid confined to an institution and the three stepsisters in whose infinitely fuller lives she has never played a part. In fact, bedridden Desiree has never met successful professional women Christina and Margareta, nor promiscuous, alcoholic Birgitta. When a series of letters unlocks the sisters' shared and separate pasts, it is the unstable Birgitta who precipitates the story's taut conclusion—ironically fulfilling Desiree's wishes. A blockbuster, enlivened by rich characterization and irresistible narrative drive. Not to be missed. Read full book review >