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Hanne Marie Svendsen

Translated by Marina Allemano

ISBN-10: 1870041623     ISBN-13: 9781870041621

256 pages     RRP £9.95    paperback    2006    Series B No. 36

Written in 1991, Under the Sun is the story of Margrethe Thiede, the daughter of a lighthouse keeper in an unnamed small fishing community on the north-western coast of Denmark. We follow Margrethe through her childhood, her years as a student in the capital, her marriage to a mentally unstable man, her involvement in the peace movement, and her old age.

The novel is also about a changing community where fears of violence at sea and rampant commercialism on land are strong undercurrents. The building of a naval base and the ominous presence of foreign submarines intimidate the fishermen and their families, and an accident caused by one of these intruding vessels forms the catastrophic climax of the novel.

The storytelling is funny, playful and clever. Dreamscapes and fairy-tale worlds blend with realistic narration to form a Danish brand of magic realism reminiscent of Peter Höeg. The author explores central questions about the relationship between language and constructed worlds, about time and space, and about the nature of fiction.

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