Bornholm Night-Ferry

Aidan Higgins, Author Dalkey Archive Press $12.95 (175p) ISBN 978-1-56478-415-5
Higgins (Scenes from a Receding Past) records a passionate, doomed epistolary love affair between Elin Marstrander, a 33-year-old Danish radio writer and single mother, and Finn ""Fitz"" Fitzgerald, a married Irish novelist of note, 15 years her senior. The novel, now in its first U.S. edition after its original 1983 publication in Ireland, tracks five years of the lovers' correspondence, following the first time they meet on holiday in Spain in 1975. From Copenhagen, Elin makes dire declarations in awkward English (""My teeth turn soft in my mouth of jealous""); from Dublin and elsewhere in Europe, Fitz writes with stream-of-consciousness yearning: ""I want you always to be in places I cannot imagine where I can catch hold of you."" Although the two rarely manage to see each other, their relationship nourishes a creative fire, especially for Elin, who begins to write and publish poetry. Bornholm, a Danish island facing Poland in the Ostsee, appears often in the narrative, both as a real place where Elin has spent joyful holidays, and as a metaphor for hope of their reunion. By 1980, Elin sums up the couple's chronic plight with grave resignation: ""Today I know that I can live without you and that I want to live with you.""
Reviewed on: 05/29/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
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