Will and Testament by Vigdis Hjorth (tr. Charlotte Barslund)

a nutshell: this festering & frustrating book grapples with a woman’s history of family trauma, with her perpsective leaking out as an inheritance dispute reopens old wounds

a line: “My fear was irrational, it was the non-financial legacy of my upbringing. An irrational sense of guilt because I had opted out”

an image: quoting Tove Ditlevsen, a character describes the street of her childhood as the root of her being, anchoring her on a day when she was utterly lost, sprinkling melancholy into her mind on a rainy night, throwing her to the ground to harden her heart before raising her gently to wipe her tears

a thought: the narrator continually blends the personal & the political – particularly in the mirroring of her own family’s efforts at reconciliation and Western governments’ involvement in conflicts as both being hypocritical/delusional

a fact: the book sparked a real-life media furore based on the fact that Hjorth drew on her own family history (despite the subtitle ‘A Novel’) which in turn prompted a ‘rebuttal’ novel by her sister Helga Hjorth

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