Last week it was time for Anneli Jordahl's The Bear Hunter's Daughters to meet the press and we were delighted to see that the critics loved the novel just as much as we did.
Arbetarbladet: Anneli Jordahl presents us with a heck of a tall tale. The Bear Hunter’s Daughters is a scathing, expansive concoction about a family beyond societal control. Not in the 1800s but today. Other teenagers carry mobile phones. The severely unkempt Leskinen sisters carry knives and nooses /… / This novel should first and foremost be regarded as a hymn to storytelling itself. Stories that pull you in, that take your breath away, that provoke astonishment, sadness and horror.
Göteborgs-Posten: Jordahl’s prose has a stylish sparsity and lustre which create an illusion of passed down oral storytelling with the austere Nordic poetry of a Norse saga, especially in the sisters’ dialogues. The Bear Hunter’s Daughters takes place on the verge between fairy-tale and myth, in a struggle that puts civilisation and freedom at opposing ends. The Leskinen sisters form a miniature society which rewards power, strength, leadership and discipline. A society that is united by a strong leader and an indisputable mythology runs the risk of collapse, when neither of them holds for closer inspection. Are freedom and civilisation truly incompatible antipoles? Anneli Jordahl’s tall tale of a novel feels more authentic than many contemporary realistic novels.
Expressen: Even though several themes are familiar – the underclass perspective, an impoverished person’s thirst for knowledge, a grief and a loneliness that is hard to process - The Bear Hunter’s Daughters introduces a new direction in her authorship. As if she has allowed herself time off from realism to run riot with an ambitious, abundantly rich tall tale. A comedy – or a tragedy with a happy ending. Steeped in bewitching nature and brutal domestic violence: imagine Sara Lidman, Mikael Niemi, Olga Tokarczuk – and American Tara Westover’s international success about growing up with fundamentalistic survivalists.
Aftonbladet: The wind howls and the rain pelts, the sisters watch their crop of potatoes freeze, while they keep themselves warm with booze and fall asleep with horny dreams of men. The days are filled with hard work and punch-ups, the bodies ache, the land is swampy and smells like sludge /… / It is bold, it is hilarious and like all inverted worlds, full of revolt!
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