Childhood

Jan Myrdal, Author, Christine Swanson, Translator, Harrison Evans Salisbury, Designed by University of Minnesota Press $24.95 (196p) ISBN 978-0-941702-29-4
The son of Swedish Nobel laureates Alva and Gunnar Myrdal, the author ( Confessions of a Disloyal European ) here offers an unsentimental, deeply personal memoir of his childhood from five to 11. He strips away the social and intellectual pretenses of his famous, worldly parents, revealing their contempt for the ``problem child'' they believed they had been saddled with. Though exercising brutal candor, Myrdal relates much that is good--magical times spent with his beloved grandparents on their farm; school friends; mischief-making--as well as the anger and hurt caused by parents who could not seem to love him. We learn, too, of life in Sweden during the Depression and World War II. Particularly haunting is an account of how young Myrdal fell into ice floes near his home, barely escaping death. Ably translated from the Swedish, this book is straightforwardly and beautifully written, successfully evoking emotions without manipulating the reader. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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