Katinka

Herman Bang, Author Fjord Press $8.95 (174p) ISBN 978-0-940242-46-3
In this 19th-century novel set in rural Denmark, Katinka Bai,12 a young woman married to a coarse man25,35 , thinks herself content until she meets Huus,13 a newcomer to her town.13 As she gradually falls in love with him, she keenly feels both the aridity of her marriage and the promise of fulfillment with Huus61,73 . When Katinka resists temptation and breaks off contact with her suitor103 , the consequences of virtue prove as tragic for her as those of sin did for Emma Bovary. Remaining in a soul-destroying union, powerless against overwhelming internal and external pressures to conform, Katinka falls ill. Finally, a revelation about her husband inspires her to fight to save herself, but it is too late143 . Told with intelligence and compassion, this is a strongly feminist novel about the destructive limits society imposes upon women as well as a portrait of mankind's poignant search for love. Impressionistic dialogue effectively conveys a sense of characters and events, and fresh, quickly drawn descriptions of the Danish countryside provide a welcome counterpoint to the stifling human drama. Honed insights and spare, direct style give this classic very contemporary appeal. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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