Magel's Daughter
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Everyone in the Olina family, living and dead, knows that Magel keeps human body parts in her freezer. From the beginning of the novel, the provocative nature of the text defies the Minnesota-nice stereotype, which is, at once, refreshing and original. Magel s Daughter highlights the deadly manipulations and subterfuge of matriarchal power within a Norwegian family. It is a dark comedy with a touch of magical realism. On the surface it s a rapidly paced, episodic blitz through the last days of Karin Brix s sanity. She s lost it by the end, and it s all her mother s fault. Magel is a classic femme fatale who grows old and spoils everyone s lives just like her mother and her mother before her. is is all set in Northern Minnesota, a chilly world of hallucination, incest, and severed heads. Magel is the reigning matriarch of the family, and Karin is on her way to becoming just like her, struggling to regain herself as an artist after years of raising her two sons. Karin is assisted in her endeavors by the hallucinations of her grand and great-grandmothers. Karin s father s glass eye weaves through her imagination as the only sound counsel amid the chaos.
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