Mommy Issues

A bunch of lillies
A Norwegian novel asks: When we talk to our mothers, can we ever really get through?

By Jane Hu

Is Mother Dead? If you have to ask, then the answer is probably, functionally, yes. The first sentence of Vigdis Hjorth’s new novel of that name risks an answer: “I called Mum one evening.” No one picks up, so the response is inconclusive. But the consequences set off from this seemingly innocuous act take on outsized proportions as the narrative unfolds. 

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