Priest's Diary

Sigbjorn Obstfelder, Author Norvik Press $9.95 (93p) ISBN 978-1-870041-01-0
The nine stories in this provocative collection by contemporary Norwegian Vik illustrate how the myths embedded in our patriarchal culture shape women's lives and imprison them ``like fish in an aquarium.'' Three tales concern young girls and the debilitating images that early insinuate themselves into their consciousnesses. In ``Sunday 43,'' Gerd wonders after her Sunday School lesson, ``Why did God give a son, was it better than a daughter?'' and stares for a long time at a storybook picture of a woman in a cage. In a second group of stories, adult women awaken to their plights. The heroine of ``Liv'' is trapped beneath a double burden: she labors in a factory all day and then, exhausted, must return home to tend her family. The themes of sexist and economic exploitation run throughout the collection, and a third group of stories suggests that even liberating mankind from the excesses of capitalism will not free women. ``What good is material security and economic independence . . . if anyone can always abuse us emotionally? If someone always has that power over us?'' Vik writes with a clear-sighted and critical compassion for both sexes that is a spur to thought and action. The work's range of voices is extraordinary, and Garton captures them with hardly a false note and occasional moments of great beauty. (June)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987
Release date: 12/01/1987
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