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Alberta and Jacob (The Alberta Trilogy) [Paperback]

Cora Sandel

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Book Description

1 Jun 2003 The Alberta Trilogy
The first part of the celebrated 'Alberta' trilogy, where Alberta loses her brother, experiences growing pains and ends up turning her back on her Norwegian homeland 'She has a place to herself among the finest contemporary writing.' - Guardian

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Alberta and Jacob (The Alberta Trilogy) + Alberta and Freedom (The Alberta Trilogy) + Alberta Alone (The Alberta Trilogy)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen; New edition edition (1 Jun 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0720611849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0720611847
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 12.7 x 1.7 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 617,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

In the far north of Norway in the early 20th century, Alberta Selmer and her younger brother Jacob grow up in the shadow of their parents' stifled anger and silent resentments. Alberta, as emotionally frozen as the arctic landscape, is desperate to escape the provincial proprieties that choke her, while her mother makes no attempt to conceal her disappointment at her daughter's social failings. When Jacob escapes to a life at sea, Alberta's rebellion, though muted and ineffectual, begins to grow. The first part of a trilogy, the novel appeared in English in 1962. --The Guardian 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read

A masterpiece . . . it reads magnificently well . . . Above all, the whole book has an old-fashioned solidity, a quality of standing up and ringing true which sorts out good novels from bad quicker than anything else. --Observer

About the Author

CORA SANDEL was born Sara Fabricius in Oslo in 1880. After a difficult childhood in the northern Norwegian town of Tromsø, she wrote the semi-autobiographical Alberta trilogy (of which Alberta and Jacob is the first part). These novels earned her an immediate place in the Scandinavian canon, but it was not until the 1960s that Sandel, now living as a recluse in Sweden, was discovered by the English-speaking world. Her books were acclaimed in the mainstream press, and feminist critics reinvented her as a champion of women s emancipation. She wrote many other novels and short stories and was awarded a State Pension for artists by Norway. She died in 1974.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars northern light 22 Mar 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the quiet, intense story of an adolescent girl who struggles to gain autonomy in an oppressive family and narrow-minded town north of the arctic circle in Norway. The story (originally published in 1926) is set in the narrow confines of the bourgeoisie at the end of the nineteenth century, and the desperation of the main character, Alberte, is palpable. Cora Sandel (pseudonym for Sara Fabricius, 1880-1974) is considered to be one of the greatest Scandinavian novelists of the twentieth century, but is virtually unknown abroad. Despite the seriousness of the novel, it manages to delight most readers because of the brilliance of Sandel's prose. A must read for folks who love twentieth century women writers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply memorable 27 Sep 2011
By M. Benyon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've just re-read the "Alberta" trilogy, after a space of twenty years, and experienced their power and atmosphere all over again. Sometimes, reading a book in translation can be so off-putting, but these books must have been translated with exceptional skill from truly wonderful writing in the original Norwegian.

I felt Alberta's loneliness in this book down to my bones - her alienation from the other women in her life, her sense of greater closeness to the enigmatic male figures such as her father and brother.

I thoroughly recommend these books to anyone who likes good writing and strong female characters.
5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet and simple story that draws you in 10 Oct 2010
By M. Bryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm happy to see that the English translation of this book is in print again because when I was looking for it years ago, I had to buy a very old, second hand copy. It had been highly recommended to me by someone who'd read it in the original Norwegian and I enjoyed it a lot.
This is a book about the unease of being an adolescent girl in a small, isolated community and not being pretty, talented or charming enough to fit in or to have good prospects, whether of marriage or some sort of education.
This story is more about Alberta's perception of her situation, her struggle to handle disapproval from some and being ignored by others. It's not plot driven, so there are no big events, tragedies or fantastic challenges to overcome. The great challenge or struggle of the main character is with herself. She needs to develop strength of character to do what she needs to do to change her predicament.
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