For Love of Norway

Pal Espolin Johnson, Author, Conrad Royksund, Translator University of Nebraska Press $23.5 (147p) ISBN 978-0-8032-2571-8
This work of fiction is so convincingly grounded that no objections can be made to Johnson's prefatory comment: ``What you are about to read is neither dream nor imagination. It is life itself as it once happened in an outlying Norwegian fishing village.'' With simple language and imagery, he describes this rugged clime: the chores of the women, from caring for children and farm animals to ``pulling the gizzards out of birds''; the storms and shipwrecks that haunt the villagers (``One of the boys hung lifeless over one of the boat's seats, his head over the railing, dipping into the sea''); the beautiful vistas (``surrounding everything lay the sea, even larger, even more endless than ever''); the deep religious faith and the idiosyncrasies of the people (``Oluf's weakness in life was galoshes. He had a large stock of them, and arranged them according to their shine.''). The reader will share native Magda's anxieties during each fishing season, when men are lost at sea, and also understand why, even years after she has left home, she cannot bear to reside far from the majestic ocean. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 147 pages - 978-0-8032-7571-3
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