Vigdis Hjorth: Er mor død?(Is Mother Dead?)

The latest addition to my website is Vigdis Hjorth‘s Er mor død?(Is Mother Dead?). Johanna, now sixty, is a Norwegian artist, living in Utah. Her husband, Mark, has died and her only child, John has moved to Copenhagen so she decides that it is time to return to Norway. However she is estranged from her mother and sister. When she left with Mark she gave up her Norwegian lawyer husband and a prospective career as a lawyer. Her family has not forgiven her for this. Her crimes were exacerbated by her failure to visit her father when he was ill or to return to Norway for his funeral and also by two paintings she did, exhibited in Oslo, which her mother took as an attack on her. She tries to contact both her mother and sister but all messages and phone calls are ignored. She becomes massively obsessive about her mother, whom she has not seen for thirty years, wondering what she is like, what she thinks and does and also reviewing in detail her childhood. She stalks her mother, without accosting her, getting into the building where she lives, and even goes through her rubbish. She comes to the conclusion that her mother had an unhappy childhood and unhappy marriage. However, it is her obsession with her mother that makes this book fascinating.

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