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Karolina Andersson has recently unfettered herself from her husband, a Stockholm socialite, but her departure from him hasn’t made her happy. Karolina wanted to live undefined by gender, but in this new mid-life tumult, she worries that she has been less successful than she hoped. In her art history research, she analyzes the fear of the liberated, modern woman in early twentieth century art, but she is uncomfortable in that role herself. She is fascinated, however, by anything disagreeable to the Swedish bourgeois—Mannerism, classical architecture, and voting for far-right political parties. When her PhD student Anton Strömberg reappears from Berlin with evidence for the wide influence of an unknown Swedish modernist, Karolina is elated, hoping that his find will reverse her academic pall. Instead, she finds a single, sweet moment of revenge, wrapped neatly and left on another’s doorstep.

Eventide contains a very particular exploration of middle-age academic life, as well as Karolina’s ambivalence for contemporary feminism: this novel will strike either a heart string or a nerve, depending on the reader. In setting, tone, and theme, it feels similar to Bohman’s earlier books, Drowned and The Other Woman, or perhaps like a more solitary (and Swedish) version of Zadie Smith’s On Beauty. Karolina’s listless musings are integral to Eventide’s explorations, but I found them more unpleasant than purposeful. And musings on the anthropocene and late capitalism are too in vogue to add any counter-cultural caché to the volume.

Reviewed By:

Author Therese Bohman • Marlaine Delargy, Translator
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 208 pages
Publisher Other Press
Publish Date 2018-Apr-10
ISBN 9781590518939
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Issue December 2018
Category Modern Literature


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