- ISBN 978 0 7206 1263 9
Alberta and Freedom
With a new foreword by Tracy Chevalier
Translated from the Norwegian by Elizabeth Rokkan
Cora Sandel was one of the most important Scandinavian writers of the 20th century and Alberta and Freedom is the second volume in her richly acclaimed Alberta trilogy. Alberta Selmer escapes from her cold suffocating provincial life in Norway to seek out the summer riches in Paris: a city where the bohemians will never die, where there is absinthe and endless talk of Cubism. But Paris is not all she imagined: although she begins to write small pieces for newspapers and periodicals, Alberta's self-esteem is low, and her inexperience makes her prey to the casual approaches of predatory men. Relationships, when they happen, are neither easy nor happy. feeling her talent beginning to suffer and her freedom stagnating, Alberta faces a struggle to survive. After its publication in 1931, Alberta and Freedom established itself as an immediate classic and Alberta Selmer as one of the century's great anti-heroines.
‘Ahead of her time . . . Like Virginia Woolf, though much tougher . . . A classic’ – Times Literary Supplement
‘She has a sure poise and distance that has deserted today's novelist.’ – Guardian
‘Excellently translated . . .the fascination lies in the picture, convincing, lively beautifully drawn, of the artists's Paris at the beginning of the 20th Century.’ – Glasgow Herald
CORA SANDEL was born Sara Fabricius in Oslo in 1880. After a difficult childhood in the northern Norwegian town of Trom, she wrote the semi-autobiographical Alberta trilogy (of which Alberta and Jacob is the first part). These novels earned her an immediate place in the Scandinavian canon, but it was not until the 1960s that Sandel, now living as a recluse in Sweden, was discovered by the English-speaking world. Her books were acclaimed in the mainstream press, and feminist critics reinvented her as a champion of women's emancipation. She wrote many other novels and short stories and was awarded a State Pension for artists by Norway. She died in 1974.