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The Parson's Widow

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Synopses & Reviews

Review:

"This frugal novel from the Finnish Vartio (1924 — 1966), is set in a Finnish village ('near Viipuri') during the early 20th century. The mentally unstable title character, Adele, argues with her maid, Alma, about the fire that consumed the parsonage, and soon moves on to other topics. An obsession with a set of stuffed birds — passed down from the parson's uncle to the parson, to his wife and, finally, to Alma's care — serves as a major focus, with ample space devoted to addiction, sexual violence, the color of Alma's scarf on the day the Alma and Adele first met and Adele's criticism of Alma for her treatment of the birds. That last inspires Alma to tell a face-saving lie: that a rare, stuffed swan resides in her family home. The tale feeds Adele's mad obsession and leads to a shocking final conflict between the parson's widow and her maid. With a masterful judiciousness of detail, Vartio manages to make the slight scenario take on a great deal of weight. The perpetual conflict is as affecting as it is absurd." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781564784834
Author:
Vartio, Marja-liisa
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Translator:
Flint, Austin
Translator:
Flint, Austin, Jr.
Translator:
Flint, Aili
Author:
Vartio, Marja-Liisa
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Dalkey Archive
Series:
Scandinavian Literature
Publication Date:
20080131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.55x6.44x.78 in. .77 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Western Europe
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The Parson's Widow New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Dalkey Archive Press - English 9781564784834 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This frugal novel from the Finnish Vartio (1924 — 1966), is set in a Finnish village ('near Viipuri') during the early 20th century. The mentally unstable title character, Adele, argues with her maid, Alma, about the fire that consumed the parsonage, and soon moves on to other topics. An obsession with a set of stuffed birds — passed down from the parson's uncle to the parson, to his wife and, finally, to Alma's care — serves as a major focus, with ample space devoted to addiction, sexual violence, the color of Alma's scarf on the day the Alma and Adele first met and Adele's criticism of Alma for her treatment of the birds. That last inspires Alma to tell a face-saving lie: that a rare, stuffed swan resides in her family home. The tale feeds Adele's mad obsession and leads to a shocking final conflict between the parson's widow and her maid. With a masterful judiciousness of detail, Vartio manages to make the slight scenario take on a great deal of weight. The perpetual conflict is as affecting as it is absurd." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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