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Hanna Nordenhök’s “Wonderland” Praised by the Critics

 

We are so impressed with the extraordinary reception for Hanna Nordenhök’s novel Wonderland – her fifth to date and her first contemporary story.  Reviewed in pretty much every major newspaper in Sweden, here is a selection of tributes:

 I have reviewed a huge number of books. At long intervals I sometimes feel: Here it is. What I’m looking for. A book that, much like a chiropractor, cracks my spine and enhances my visual acuity. Wonderland is such a book (Göteborgs-Posten)

Nordenhök is a masterful illustrator of the moment when this self-deception begins to crack. Intercalary, unobtrusive sentences break up an otherwise visceral prose and create an intriguing density that works well with the psychological acuteness that distinguishes this novel /… / In Wonderland, Hanna Nordenhök destroys the notion that there is such a thing as an authentic self. It is an astonishing novel (Aftonbladet)

Hanna Nordenhök has crafted a brilliant psychological thriller out of human lies. The prose is poised and is just as comfortable no matter where in the world it takes place. I recommend this book as an ideal title for every book club. Masterful literature and psychological depth. It must be discussed (Norrköpings-Tidningar)

I have primarily read Nordenhök’s translations from the Spanish. In that field she is one of the very best. This assessment shall now include her own authorship /… / Nordenhök renders the three main protagonists’ life stories through acute flashbacks. Her prose is remarkably contemporary, identifies places and brands, imitates the jargon of cyberculture, is just as lyrical as it is stringent. If she hasn’t been translated before, now is the time, the sooner the better (Dagens Nyheter)

Nordenhök always writes solemnly, beautifully evocative. But something has happened to her style. It is subdued, more obscure, like someone bending their neck. The ambience is shabby, timeworn, desolate. The symbolism is abundantly clear, all the signs of mental damage that nobody picks up on. But the isolation between humans – recognisable from her authorship – paradoxically evokes something authentic within the reader. A moral, a conscience. One leans inwards toward the sinister text. It is elegantly executed, a slap on the wrist. As a reader I become filthily exhilarated when this subtle squalor awakens me. An extraordinary literary trick mirror (Expressen)