Fagerholm, Monika

   A Finland-Swedish novelist and short story writer, Fagerholm writes about women and pays much less attention to men. Her women characters, as found in the prose text collections Sham (1987) and Patricia (1990), however, can be quite repulsive and do not seem calculated to conform to patriarchy's image of ideal femininity. Her great vacation novel Underbara kvinnor vid vatten (1994; tr. Wonderful Women by the Sea, 1998), on the other hand, tells about two culturally Americanized Finnish women, Rosa and Isabella, who try to imitate consumerist glamour as presented on the pages of Life magazine. When the world changes from a state of relative innocence to one of political engagement and activism during the summer of 1968, however, Rosa and Isabella are forced to reassess their approach to living.
   The central figure and narrator in Diva (1998) is a girl, age 13, who has what can only be described as superhero powers, through which she constructs a highly personal and mythic perception of reality. Den amerikanska flickan (2004; The American Girl), which is conceived as the first volume of a series entitled Slutet pa glitterscenen (The End of the Glitter Stage), has as its theme the loneliness and precarious friendship of youth.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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