Saturday, 25 July 2009

The first 20 years are the worst

Henrik Jansson reviews Swedish author Pia Hintze's new novel Älskling in Hbl, and although he has some reservations about what he calls the occasional "chattiness" of the style, he points to Hintze's ability to uncover and portray the reality of relationships and new parenthood in a way that's unusual, as it tears away the layers of social convention and secrecy that still surround many of the issues involved. Hintze has a special knack for revealing the unpleasant physical details, the inter-generational conflicts and the fragile nature of each individual's inner picture of reality, yet she does so with a sense of humour and a commitment to exploring the psychology of her characters to the limit. This is a relatively new kind of Nordic fiction, and in this her third novel Hintze is following a path that's also being trodden by other writers, including Finland's Kreetta Onkeli.

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