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The Resource Welcome to America, Linda Boström Knausgård ; translated from the Swedish by Martin Aitken

Welcome to America, Linda Boström Knausgård ; translated from the Swedish by Martin Aitken

Label
Welcome to America
Title
Welcome to America
Statement of responsibility
Linda Boström Knausgård ; translated from the Swedish by Martin Aitken
Creator
Contributor
Author
Translator
Subject
Genre
Language
  • eng
  • swe
  • eng
Summary
"Ellen's stopped talking. She thinks she may have killed her dad. Her brother's barricaded himself in his room. Their mother, a successful actress, carries on as normal. We're a family of light! she insists. But darkness seeps in everywhere and in their separate worlds each of them longs for togetherness. Welcome to America is a scintillating portrait of a sensitive, strong-willed child in the throes of trauma, a family on the brink of implosion, and the love that threatens to tear them apart." -- Amazon
Member of
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Since 11-year-old narrator Ellen prayed for her father to die, and he did, she's certain both that God is real, and that she's responsible for her father's death. She keeps these beliefs to herself, though, having stopped speaking, writing, or even communicating with gestures: a troubling inconvenience her mother, brother, and teachers nonetheless seem to tolerate, for now. Readers come to understand that Ellen and her family had reasons for wanting to be free of her father, and that he, perhaps, wanted to be free of himself. Winner of the Swedish August Prize, Knausgård's second novel (her first, The Helios Disaster, will be released in English in 2020) gives voice to the uncontrollable, horrifying aspects of growing up. Ellen doesn't quite understand why her life force might be so compromised, but she does find power, pride, and a kind of freedom in her silence. Readers familiar with Karl Ove Knausgaard's autobiographical My Struggle series will recognize Linda Boström as its author's ex-wife, adding further intrigue to this quietly bold tale of familial terror and love. -- Annie Bostrom (Reviewed 8/1/2019) (Booklist, vol 115, number 22, p26)
  • This lean, moving novel from Knausgärd (The Helios Disaster) explores the inner life of a child who has decided to stop talking. When the story begins, adolescent Ellen 
			reveals that she prayed for her mentally ill father to die, just before he died. The family is still in recovery. Her brother is abusive—some early scenes of physical violence are disturbing—and her mother, an attractive actress, oscillates through the house with giddy energy. The action tracks a tumultuous school year, as the girl’s brother and mother each meet a new love and Ellen sinks ever deeper into the stubborn muteness of her own making. There are sequences of happy memories, but the girl’s father is a specter lurking in the background. The narrative is borderline stream-of-consciousness, with hallucinations mingling with reality, forcing readers to constantly question what they are told. Knausgärd is an impressive writer, and she has created a unique, powerful lead in a world all her own. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed 07/22/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 29, p)
  • A girl gives her dysfunctional family an extreme and distressing version of the silent treatment. Ellen, the narrator of the second novel by Boström Knausgård and first published in the U.S., is certain she's killed her father, because she constantly prayed for his death. "I had access to God. It was me and God who'd killed my dad," she tells us early on. That line is more than enough reason to fire up the "Unreliable Narrator" siren, but Boström Knausgård encourages the reader not to dismiss her situation as madness but empathize with it as trauma. Ellen's mentally ill father has been institutionalized and may have tried to kill the family by leaving the gas on; her brother is angry and abusive; her mother, an actress, is distant and narcissistic. (The title refers to her in a role as a "fallen Statue of Liberty.") In that light, Ellen's silence (and this book) represents a protective carapace against an adulthood she associates with pain: "I stopped talking when growing began to take up too much space inside me. I was sure I couldn't do both, grow and talk at the same time." The mood intensifies as Ellen's mother and brother pursue their own relationships, but the novel doesn't have an arc so much as a set of fuguelike variations on Ellen's musings about death and loss. Boström Knausgård's writing (via Aitken's translation) is crystalline and careful; like her ex-husband, Karl Ove Knausgård, she has an eye for quotidian but revealing details, though she eschews his expansiveness. Here, restraint and ambiguity prevail, whether it's about the intensity of the abuse Ellen sustained or the veracity of her assertions. Regardless, it's a taut portrait of how difficult it can be to reconcile ideals about faith and family with their messier realities. An intense, recursive book that evokes the chill despair of a Bergman film. (Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2019)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10807386
Cataloging source
LPU
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1972-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Boström Knausgård, Linda
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Aitken, M. J.
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Dysfunctional families
  • Psychic trauma
  • Selective mutism
  • Sibling abuse
  • Child abuse
Target audience
adult
Label
Welcome to America, Linda Boström Knausgård ; translated from the Swedish by Martin Aitken
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
"First published as Välkommen till Amerika in Sweden in 2016 by Modernista"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
000066128268
Dimensions
21 cm.
Extent
124 pages
Isbn
9781642860412
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1112671028
Label
Welcome to America, Linda Boström Knausgård ; translated from the Swedish by Martin Aitken
Publication
Copyright
Note
"First published as Välkommen till Amerika in Sweden in 2016 by Modernista"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
000066128268
Dimensions
21 cm.
Extent
124 pages
Isbn
9781642860412
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1112671028

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
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