In the 19th century, Julia Pastrana, “the bear woman” born in Mexico, travels around Europe with her impresario and husband in one person. One hundred years later, Finn, a shady character, finds Julia’s stuffed body at a dump in Oslo; he takes it to his caravan to have somebody to talk to. Then in 2013, Kira, a Norwegian journalist, expectant as a consequence of rape, travels to Mexico to write a report on Julia’s official funeral. The main themes of the three stories are life, time, death, normality, motherhood, the human body, and, above all, the boundaries between all these. What is the essence of humanity and what is animal in us? And at what moment and under what circumstances do we cease to be human?
Published by Argo, 2019
©Christian L. Elgvin
Gunstein Bakke (* 1968) is a Norwegian author of four novels, two poetry collections and one collage of poems and photographs. He also works as a translator and lecturer of creative writing. He lives alternately in Oslo and on the Swedish island of Gotland. He made his literary debut in 2000, and his third novel, Maud and Aud: A Novel About Traffic (Maud og Aud: Ein roman om trafikk) (in Czech 2015), won the European Union Prize for Literature 2012.
by Františka Bakošová.