Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Newsmonger: Creative arguments on both sides of the VIA streetcar debate

Newsmonger: Creative arguments on both sides of the VIA streetcar debate

News: If a petition meant to derail a $280 million streetcar project in downtown San Antonio isn’t successful, two... By Mark Reagan 7/23/2014
New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

Music: Like the bulk of Austin Mahone’s Instagram account, this one’s a selfie. In a white tank top, hair coifed up real big, Mahone arranges... By Matt Stieb 7/22/2014
7 Public Art Projects Worth Searching For

7 Public Art Projects Worth Searching For

Arts & Culture: You’re likely familiar with the high-profile works of public art on view around downtown San Antonio: the gigantic, red swoop of... By Sarah Fisch 7/23/2014

Best Public Swimming Pool

Best of 2013: 4/24/2013
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

'Children in Reindeer Woods' by Kristín Ómarsdóttir

Photo: , License: N/A


What is it about icebound exports and child captivity? From the intoxicating rhythms of “Birthday,” an oddly suggestive New Wave lullaby by the Sugarcubes, to Hanna, a recent techno thriller about eugenic perfection sequestered in Finland, the story of a bright young girl held in check by her woolly elder abounds — as abominable as any snowman and as inevitable as a coming thaw. In Kristín Ómarsdóttir's Children in Reindeer Woods, advocates of the arbitrary morality of the Brothers Grimm,  as well the ambiguities J.M. Coetzee's war-torn fables, will be treated to a suburb story of pastoral charm and eerie erotism. Billie, an eleven-year-old girl who survives the massacre of a “temporary home for children” must now survive the shell-shocked antics of Rafael, a man who has abandoned the soldier’s life to try his hand at farming.

Like all suspiciously simple tales, Children in Reindeer Woods is fraught with wisdom, from the ethics of cutting the hair off Barbie dolls, to the health benefits of the fetal position, but nothing is so observant and chilling as the manner in which Billie deals with the pangs and persistence of memory. “Some people want to use their memories sparingly and have everything in its right place — you might run out of memory if trinkets and toys moved about too often,” Billie in captivity considers. “If someone constantly has to hunt for things, then they might miss the benefits of memory, which allows you to cherish wonderful moments the way a princess cherishes her earrings. Someone had told the girl this, her mother, her father, a character in a movie. She remembered who, but it wasn't worth the risk of remembering.”

Children in Reindeer Woods is an inverted Heidi tale that turns Stockholm Syndrome on its head.

Children in Reindeer Woods

by Kristín Ómarsdóttir
Translated from Icelandic
by Lytton Smith
Open Letter
$14.95, 198 pages

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus