cover image Dollar Road

Dollar Road

Kjartan Flogstad, Kjartan Flgstad. Louisiana State University Press, $21.95 (203pp) ISBN 978-0-8071-1525-1

Originally published in Norway in 1977 and winner of the Pegasus Prize, this eloquent novel marks Flogstad's American debut. Part political satire, part social commentary, part verse, part parable, the work is set on a grand canvas, following the Hoysand family from the 1930s to the late '70s. The title refers to the road from the farm to the factory, and it is this path that Norway must take toward industrialization. For young Rasmus Hoysand, the only escape possible from a dreary lifetime of work in the chemical plants of Alvik is the sea; he signs on a ship as a deckhand, and his travels (a subconscious search for his father) take him to the Americas. Flogstad is a virtuosic storyteller, a Scandinavian Garcia Marquez, and his energetic, evocative prose sparkles the most as Rasmus recounts his adventures in Latin America. Dollar Road deals with themes as varied as the relative merits of socialism and the role of language in determining human destiny; Christensen's admirable translation does justice to this important book. (Oct.)