Att föda ett barn

Giving birth

by Kristina Sandberg

It is the end of the 1930s. 20-year-old Maj Olausson has just moved to the coastal town Örnsköldsvik to work. She's in love with Erik, but he is indecisive, and during a pause in their relationship she falls into the arms of another man.

Tomas is much older. He is nice, not bad looking for his age, but divorced and of a better class. And as Maj realises that she is pregnant, he does the unexpected and asks her to marry him. Before long it is mid-December, they have moved in together and have married. But they hardly know each other, and Maj finds it difficult to adjust and meet the expectations from her husband's bourgeois family. And her growing belly, where the new life is kicking eagerly and with longing, what will happen when the baby arrives?

There is no one to confide in, no one to ask for advice, and Tomas can't–or won't–understand the responsibilities that has been laid upon her as his wife. Gradually, a decision is formed within her to become a woman nobody can fault. But no matter how hard she follows the homemaker's almanac and cook book, there is still everything else that overwhelms her. The uncertainty of motherhood, the aching wrists, Tomas' drinking and the condemning remarks from her mother-in-law.

In a dense and almost claustrophobic narrative, Kristina Sandberg writes Maj's struggles, from being a single girl with an unplanned pregnancy, to her makeshift marriage with Tomas and the future that lies in her womb.

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Shortlisted for Swedish Radio's Novel Award 2010

It is the end of the 1930s. 20-year-old Maj Olausson has just moved to the coastal town Örnsköldsvik to work. She’s in love with Erik, but he is indecisive, and during a pause in their relationship she falls into the arms of another man.

 

Tomas is much older. He is nice, not bad looking for his age, but divorced and of a better class. And as Maj realises that she is pregnant, he does the unexpected and asks her to marry him. Before long it is mid-December, they have moved in together and have married. But they hardly know each other, and Maj finds it difficult to adjust and meet the expectations from her husband’s bourgeois family. And her growing belly, where the new life is kicking eagerly and with longing, what will happen when the baby arrives?

 

There is no one to confide in, no one to ask for advice, and Tomas can’t–or won’t–understand the responsibilities that has been laid upon her as his wife. Gradually, a decision is formed within her to become a woman nobody can fault. But no matter how hard she follows the homemaker’s almanac and cook book, there is still everything else that overwhelms her. The uncertainty of motherhood, the aching wrists, Tomas’ drinking and the condemning remarks from her mother-in-law.

 

In a dense and almost claustrophobic narrative, Kristina Sandberg writes Maj’s struggles, from being a single girl with an unplanned pregnancy, to her makeshift marriage with Tomas and the future that lies in her womb.

 

Shortlisted for Swedish Radio’s Novel Award 2010

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