Monday 12 December 2022

A Scandinavian Christmas

'Tis the season to be reading. And here comes my very first new Christmas reading suggestion thus year. A Scandinavian Christmas: Festive Tales for a Nordic Noël. An anthology of Christmas stories by Scandinavian writers, old and contemporary, famous and less famous. There's so much to love in there. Classic tales, some with tragic endings (you know the ones), you also take a detour via Ancient Rome with the Nativity as seen by Emperor Augustus in a mystical experience (Selma Lagerlöf's The Emperor's Vision). But my favourite Vigdis Hjorth's Christmas Eve, about a alcoholic mother trying to satisfy her addiction and hide it at the same time. Showing the dark side of the season in all its bleak simplicity, it is a haunting piece. Anyway, the Scandinavians pretty much invented Yuletide, so you can't go wrong with this one.