Teenage Johanna lives with her aunt Solveig in a small house bordering the forest on the outskirts of a remote coastal town in Finland. She leads a lonely existence that is punctuated by visits to her privileged classmate, Ulla Bäckström, who lives in the nearby luxury gated community. It isn’t until Ulla tells her the local lore about the American girl and the tragedy that took place more than thirty years before that Johanna begins to question how her parents fit into the story. She sets out to unravel her family history, the identity of her mother, and the dark secrets long buried with her father.
In the process of opening closed doors, others in the community reflect back on the town’s history, on their youth, and on the dreams that play in their minds. Soon a new story emerges, that stirs up Johanna’s greatest fears, but ultimately leads to the answers she is searching for. The Glitter Scene is a riveting mystery that explores the roles of truth and myth, reality and fiction, and the repercussions of family secrets.
About the author
Monika Fagerholm’s much-praised first novel, Wonderful Women by the Sea became one of the most widely translated Scandinavian literary novels in the mid-nineties and was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 1998 it was followed by the cult novel Diva, which won the Swedish Literature Society Award.
Her third novel, The American Girl, became a number-one best seller and won the premier literary award in Sweden, the August Prize, as well as the Aniara Prize and the Gothenburg Post Award.
About the moderator:
Michael A. Orthofer (b. 1964, Austria) is the founder, managing editor, and principal reviewer of complete review, a literary website founded in March 1999.
His work has been praised by David Orr of the New York Times Book Review and by Time magazine. Orthofer has a particular interest in work in translation.