ALBERTA ALONE by Cora Sandel


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Originally published as a trilogy, Alberta Alone is the work of a leading Norwegian author living in Sweden. It appears here now for the first time in English in translation by Elizabeth Rokkan and in one volume. In part autobiographical, it relates the story of a Norwegian girl, daughter of a magistrate who has been sent up north by his family and has failed to live up to the promise of his youth. Alberta is first seen as an awkward adolescent, miserable in her family group, unsure socially. Her brother Jacob escapes the strictures of the provincial life by taking to the sea; she is free to leave only when her parents die. Following this, she drifts into a hazy life in Paris among artists and after a tragically cut off affair becomes the mistress, then wife, of Sivert, an artist of determination and promise. A child holds them together; even her tentative affair with Pierre, a writer returned from World War I, or her husband's with a Swedish painter, does not drive them apart. Instead, it is Alberta's self realization, reached while they are with his parents, that brings about her decision to leave her son with his grandparents, to leave Sivert as well, and to make her own way as a writer. She departs, ready to ""tell a little of the truth."" It is an aim which is more than met by Cora Sandel in this subtly perceptive, realistic probing and appraisal. She has a sure knowledge of the feminine psyche, of the relationship of man and woman, of her milieus, and applies it with a surgical though compassionate skill to the lives she touches. Out of an earlier era (the volumes were published originally in 1926, 1931, 1936), Alberta Alone can stand on its own today, although popular readership is unlikely. It will be made into a film by Richard Kaplan of The Eleanor Roosevelt Story.

ISBN: 0720613140
Publisher: Grossman-Orion