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Book review: Jennifer Clement, Gun love has a singular power

Florida is probably the most mocked and despised US states. At least if you measure the attitudes of educated liberals. A regular satirbild is the one that shows how the peninsula that is Florida separated from the rest of the US, with a shovel and left to float in the way out in the Atlantic ocean. For a while, then spread the social media hint that googling ”Florida man + your age”. No matter what age you chose, you had to in the newspaper headlines quoted up a color picker on the grotesque crime and general strange behavior.

Myself, I got that the first option ”Florida man, 54, accused of excorcism on 80-year-old girlfriend”. Only in Florida, skies for the rest of the nation.

Read more: Interview with Jennifer Clement: ”Violence against women is a violation of freedom of expression.”

”Gun love” don't do very much to modify the image of Florida as a haven for all sorts of shady individuals and activities. One of the first symbolic scenes depicting how berättarjaget, old Pearl, sits with his girlfriend on the jetty and show their courage by letting your feet dangle down in the brown water. All know what is under the surface. Alligators.

Pearl lives with her mother in an automatic transmission Mercury Topaz 1994 model. The car is in turn in the parking lot to a trailer in a part of Florida that neither is known for well-heeled retirees, cuban leagues, orange groves, swamps or Disneyparker. Putnam County is it. I read online that huvudtätorten in the county is Palatka and that the median income for a household is the 28,000 dollars. The corresponding figure for the U.S. as a whole is 61.000.

This is thus the Pearl has been living since she was a few months old. Her world is a trailer that houses a dozen guests, the closed public school, and pastor Rex's church. There is also a gigantic garbage dump that oozes poison, and the brown lake where the men usually hang on Saturdays and shoot the alligators.

in an affluent home, with the pampering and piano lessons. She became pregnant with a married man when she was sixteen and hid the child in a couple of months before she fled home, never to come back. She thought that she would stay with her daughter in the car until she could find a job, but when the novel begins, the two lived there in fourteen years.

Children in distress in novels tend almost without exception to be strong to the soul and quite särbegåvade. It is logical. They must be able to express themselves that it will be something to read. The Pearl is no exception. She is the result of a reverse ceremony and her mother will teach her things. The mother also has the ability to see what people have inside themselves, what they are wearing, and there is an ability which seems to have been inherited.

the Pearl is also albino.

Posted for the classic sydstatsgotik then? Not really. Jennifer Clement tells a pretty straight story with the social realist klangbotten. Every now and then – especially in the kapitelsluten – she shoots into the more poetic lofty thoughts, which, to remind you that we have with a very special person to do, and that we shall not lose this särskildhet in the flat, gritty and trivial.

unfortunate for the author Jennifer Clement that she also is now the father of Jennifer Clement. She is since 2015, the president of Pen International and the first instinct of the reader and the critic becomes then to find political messages in her books. The theme of the ”Gun love” will of course be the us love of firearms makes the U.S. one of the world's most self-destructive nations and the illegal arms trade to an economy that employs hundreds of thousands. Alligators.

Sure, take the weapons, and great location in Clements novel. You could say that it is the most ubiquitous weapons who directed this tragedy. And in at least one case, one is relieved when a weapon is handy for self-defense, which complicates the arguments. But this is not primarily a political tendensroman.

In the novel's middle will be the Pearl a ”shooting”. That is what social services call the child fosterhemplaceras since their parents have been shot. Here the translator Niclas Hval probably torn his hair, but had to sacrifice the typical Clementska linguistic irony in the original ”shoots” – which can also be translated as ”shot” as in buds, cuttings.

in ”Gun love” is not so much with weapons that do. This is when it by many movements difficult, traumatized fosterbarnet Helens telefonsamling explained. She has at least a seventeen phones and charger in a plastic bag. Another child explains: ”They have given her a telephone in each foster home and said she'll keep in touch, " said Leo. They are so many now that Helen did not know if they work or which house they belong together.”

It is in such scenes that Jennifer Clement demonstrates why she has been praised as for ”Gun love”. It is sensitive, a bit discrete, the imagery that gets such a singular force when it is allowed to grow out of the skräpiga the ground.

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