I routinely speak of Kerstin Ekman as Sweden's greatest now living writer. After mulling it over the other day though I realized I can't think of any other Swede, even dead, who surpasses her - so I suppose she is simply The Greatest of the Swedes.
However, I must confess that for all her greatness, the prospect of a 550-page essay about the forest did not exactly have me fidget with excitement beforehand.
- She sure can write! I mean she can write really, really well!
- She knows a lot of stuff, too! Like truly, an impressive load of stuff! These texts broach a range of forest-related viewpoints encompassing literature, history, modern-day forest-keeping, botany, mythical and real-life beasts, bandits, art, deforestation and more.
- I have never read anything quite like this book. And I have read a lot of books!
- Vanguard she is not. Truth be told, if she had been a man, I would probably have called the final chapters 'whiny'...
It's not that she is wrong about our exploitation of the forest, it's just her way of looking at it that got to me.
In short : Very pleasurable.
Plus : Ekman's resignation from the Swedish Academy as early as 1989 does her even more credit after recent revelations on the behaviour of many of its members.