Unquiet

Linn Ullmann, trans. from the Norwegian by Thilo Reinhard. Norton, $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-393-60994-3
Ullmann’s spellbinding novel (after The Cold Song) is a fragmentary portrait of a place and time, and a testament to the legacies of those she mourns. Blending memoir and literary fiction, this book presents revelatory, frank depictions of the author’s relationship to her father, legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, and of his relationship to the author’s mother, Liv Ullmann, an actress and filmmaker often considered to be his greatest inspiration. Based originally on a brief series of taped conversations between Ullmann and her father just before his death, Ullmann confronts the nature of growing old while subtly studying her own childhood and middle age through the lens of her father’s decline. She reminisces on her often idyllic and tumultuous youth, studying stacks of love letters between her parents, and considering the situations that must have brought the life of her family to where it is. Some of Ullmann’s best passages are about her charming, confounding mother: “Mamma’s rules for good parenting: 1. Children must drink milk. 2. Children must live near trees.” Echoing Duras’s The Lover in its blurring of the real and the imagined as well as in its obsessive attention to detail, this is a striking book about the enduring love between parents and children, and the fierce attachments that bind them even after death. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/12/2018
Release date: 01/15/2019
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X