Love and Loss: Darling River

I’m reading Sara Stridsberg’s painfully beautiful book Darling River. The novel is slight in size, but its content is so rich and powerful, that I find that it’s best savored in small bites. The poetic and poignant narrative feels almost like an improvised jazz record, Stridsberg has taken Nabokov’s classic “Lolita” and interpreted it through her own music. Four separate tales, starring three women and a monkey, explore themes of lost childhood, female submission and violence. The stories are about loss and degradation, but the tender language and imagery are almost ethereal, yet dripping with pain.  The words are light but they cut deep. Stridsberg has so much love for her subjects, and in extension, for humanity. And so have I, reading this book.