Sunday, July 29, 2012
Menedarna - Kerstin Ekman
Joe Hill, a.k.a Joseph Hillström (initially Joel Hägglund), was a Swedish 'wobbly' (labor activist of the 'I Won't Work' movement) in early 20th century America. His protest songs kept him alive well after he was sentenced to death for a double murder he most likely did not commit.
It's his arrival to the Salt Lake City prison that sets off Ekman's biography, and his execution that brings the narrative to a close.
Rather daringly, Ekman has chosen as her narrator a friend of Hill's, with limited access to Hill and to most of the action.
Another of her early novels, this does not have the same verve and import as her later works, but then it's only 200 pages long, so thumbs up anyway.