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Wedding Worries, set in his childhood village of Älvkarleby, is Dagerman’s compelling account of the Palm family’s celebration of their young daughter Hildur’s marriage to the village butcher. The novel begins on the morning of the wedding day with a mysterious knocking on the bride’s window, and ends twenty-four hours later after a bacchanalian feast filled with unexpected drama.
Narrated in turn by a multitude of characters, Dagerman uses Hildur’s wedding to explore themes of loneliness, longing, love and deliverance. There is Hildur’s father, the Snail, who refuses to leave his second floor hide-away; his wife Hilma, whose secret love is the Singer, a once celebrated artist. There is the bombastic groom Westlund who endlessly tells everyone about his time in America. There’s Mary, a guest from a nearby small town who fancies herself an urban sophisticate; and three tramps, staying overnight in the hayloft. Like a kaleidoscope, the shifting perspectives offer a richly textured tale that ranges in mood from tenderness to burlesque to transcendent wisdom.
"Går i sömnen" (Sleepwalking) 1986 © Karin Mamma Andersson / Bildupphovsrätt 2019