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A woman living a hectic city life is hit by a sudden and unexplicable allergy – an oversensitivity to her own urban conditions and even to her own husband. One day, when her physical symptoms are becoming more and more alarming she runs away from the city, on foot and along the motorway. Driven by the repugnance to her own past she lands in desolate areas. In this new world she is confronted with other odd existences; the vagrant Yatzy and his friends, the old amateur astronomer Birger Halvarsson, and the animals which, lurking in the woods, are watching her. Little by little she is transformed, not only to a recluse, but also into something else, something even essentially different from man.
The novel To Isola is a dark and suggestive chronicle about the urban man who has become his own enemy, and about the urge to recapture a forgotten nature.
Published: in 2004
Translated into Danish, Finnish, Dutch
“Madeleine Hessérus has a complete command of the more and more unusual art of telling a story … it profoundly moves, fascinates and agitates. To Isola is a strong and moving novel, powerful and melancholic beautiful … undoubtedly one of this year´s literary summits.”
“The story proceeds into the space between allegory and depicting, into the very difference between fiction and reality. There the text becomes as much its own world as the world that it reflects. That is the place where good novels come into existence.”
“A remarkable novel – concrete and poetic, civilization critical and exiting.”
“An inciting voice in new Scandinavian literature.”
“Hessérus criticizes the modern efficient life with the greatest poetic precision … a fantastic language … I can warmly recommend you to read To Isola.”