LUCIE by Amalie Skram


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This fluent translation makes available one of the little-known classics of Norwegian fiction: a vividly detailed, subtly accusatory study of the catastrophic pairing of two irreconcilable opposites: avatars and victims of a sexist, class-obsessed society. Prominent attorney Theodor Gerner’s efforts to reshape his mistress, headstrong dancing girl Lucie, into a wife worthy of his status are dramatized brilliantly, as both an ironic revision of the Pygmalion myth and a Zola-like melodrama of hurtling, implacable destiny. A fascinating translators’ afterword deftly sketches the cultural context (dominated by Skram’s countryman and contemporary Henrik Ibsen) out of which this splendid, and essential, 1888 novel arose. An exemplary work of scholarly rediscovery.

Pub Date: April 5th, 2002
ISBN: 1-870041-48-8
Page count: 168pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2002