Laila Stien: Vekselsang (Antiphony)

The latest addition to my website is Laila Stien‘s Vekselsang (Antiphony)/ The novel tells the story of a Norwegian journalist who quits her job when she is accused of lacking initiative and heads off to the North, to write a book about the Sami. There are three chapters and in each chapter she spends time with a woman, each one younger than the previous one. The two older ones bemoan the changes to their culture, the influence of modern, Western culture and how their children, particularly their sons, move down South to find work. The youngest says the Sami, with all their many faults, have been studied to death, while she herself wants to go off to university. While the book is about the huge changes to the Sami culture it is also about fitting in as the narrator, we find, does not fit in with her family, any more than many of the Sami are drifting away from their culture and families.

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