cover image The White City

The White City

Karolina Ramqvist, trans. from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel.. Black Cat, $16 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2595-8

In Ramqvist's exciting English-language debut, Karin spends the winter inside her mansion, taking naps and breast-feeding her infant daughter, Dream, a child she never wanted. Her criminal lover, John, left the two of them when the authorities began tracking him, and now Karin has to deal with his actions. She manages to get by until the Swedish Economic Crime Authority pays her a visit to inform her that all of her assets will be seized in nine days in order to cover John's tax debt. Karin finds herself with nowhere to turn. She and Dream go to visit her former friends to ask for help but get turned down. This short novel, full of suspense and beautifully written dreamlike sequences, places readers directly in Karin's situation and allows them to feel her isolation and desperation. Though Ramqvist withholds a great deal of information, especially regarding John, Karin's emotional journey will have a lasting impact on readers. Agent: Astri von Arbin Ahlander, Ahlander Agency. (Feb.)