Thursday, April 11, 2013

Featured Author: Monika Fagerholm

Monika Fagerholm is a Swedish-speaking Finnish author born in 1961. The Salomonsson Agency says Fagerholm, whom they represent, "is regarded as one of Scandinavia's finest literary authors. Her highly musical and literary prose, rich with local mannerisms, literary allusions and repetitions in a fugue style, in combination with her deep love and understanding of popular music as a mythical foundation in the lives of teenagers, makes her an outstanding artist".  She has been nominated for the Finlandia Prize, and has received both the Runeberg Award and August Prize for her fiction.  The American Girl has a reading guide on - the reviewer called the novel "a masterful, thoughtful thriller...deliciously complex". 

In 1969, a young girl makes a trip from Coney Island to the swampy coastland on the rural outskirts of Helsinki, Finland. There, her death will immediately become part of local mythology, furnishing boys and girls with fodder for endless romantic imaginings. Everyone who lives near the swamp dreams about Eddie de Wire, the lost American girl. . . . For both Sandra and Doris, two lonely, dreaming girls abandoned in different ways by their parents, this myth will propel them into their coming-of-age through mischievous role-playing games of love and death, in search of hidden secrets, the mysteries of the swamp, and the truth behind Eddie's death. Crime mystery and gothic saga, social study and chronicle of the late sixties and early seventies, a portrait of the psyche of young girls on the cusp of sexual awakening, The American Girl is a bewitching glimpse of the human capacity for survival and for self-inflicted wounds. [from the trade paperback edition]

[eBook only in our catalog]

Teenage Johanna lives with her aunt Solveig in a small house bordering the forest on the outskirts of a remote coastal town in Finland. She leads a lonely existence that is punctuated by visits to her privileged classmate, Ulla Bäckström, who lives in the nearby luxury gated community. It isn't until Ulla tells her the local lore about the American girl and the tragedy that took place more than thirty years before that Johanna begins to question how her parents fit into the story. She sets out to unravel her family history, the identity of her mother, and the dark secrets long buried with her father. In the process of opening closed doors, others in the community reflect back on the town's history, on their youth, and on the dreams that play in their minds. Soon a new story emerges, that stirs up Johanna's greatest fears, but ultimately leads to the answers she is searching for. The Glitter Scene is a riveting mystery that explores the roles of truth and myth, reality and fiction, and the repercussions of family secrets. [description from the catalog]

Recommended for fans of Stieg Larsson, Lisa Unger, and Therese Bohman.  If you enjoy books about teenage girls coming of age, readalikes include: Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun; Gossip of the Starlings by Nina de Gramont; The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton; and Love Falls by Esther Freud.

Some content, including readalikes, were suggested by the eResource NoveList Plus, which can help you find new books based and also can show you all the books in a series, all the books by a certain author, as well as brief biographies of authors. Access to this eResource is free with your valid library card! Visit the Books and Literature subject guide to find links to NoveList Plus and more!

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