Undset, Sigrid Entries

Kristin Lavransdatter: The Cross


Well, color me confused.

After making my way through the 1100+ pages of Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, not only am I puzzled about the decision to award this author the 1928 Nobel Prize in Literature, but I am also completely mystified about what seems to be its enduring popular appeal. Because in case you hadn't noticed (and I can understand how you wouldn't, if you were basing your opinion off the responses of our particular readalong participants), this book is BELOVED by many people. It seems to be, for some, not just a good book but one of "those" books: those special, intense journeys that one revisits over the years and by which one is nourished. Check out the Kristin page on GoodReads, for instance: glowing five-star review after glowing five-star review, featuring the warmest of accolades:

  • Brilliant and beautiful!
  • I only intended to read the first book in this trilogy, and was so "hooked" by that time that I read straight through the entire series.
  • This is the best book I've read in a couple of years! It takes place in Norway in the 1300s; the story is compelling and the characters are extremely well developed.
  • I would actually give this hefty tome eight stars if the system would let me.
  • Fantastic read- truly a classic! I was a bit nervous about how religious it was going to be from the description (I didn't want a lot of preaching) but really it was silly to be worried...
  • If you are moved at all by the idea of human nature struggling with both a physical and spiritual identity, or interested by a setting in medieval Norway, I highly recommend it.
  • Undset's Kristen Lavransdatter is one of the best books I have ever read.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Good character development, psychological insight, not too religious...I wonder what I just read.

Maybe the most frustrating thing about Kristin Lavransdatter, to me, was that hidden within this behemoth are several novels that I would actually quite like. Whenever life settled down for a moment and the narrative focused less on melodrama and more on everyday medieval Norwegian life, it had a richness and quiet rhythm that I was often just starting to enjoy...when along came Kristin to throw another temper tantrum or angst weepily about what a sinner she was. If the nonstop, over-the-top melodrama of the plot had been muted, and Undset had focused instead on the quiet lives unfolding in the valley, Kristin Lavransdatter could have been a compelling, realistic portrait of rural medieval life.

Or, on the other hand, if the melodramatic plot points had remained but the narrative had been less interior - in other words, if we hadn't been subjected to ENDLESS resentment and self-flagellation on the part of Kristin but instead observed the characters from without, deducing their emotions and motivations from their actions - the story would have resembled a latter-day Icelandic saga. A bit of subtlety in the characterization could only have been a plus, and without the constant need to agonize about sins of the past, the thing would have moved along much more smoothly and perhaps become a taut tale in the adventure/romance vein.

In other words, and I don't say this often, I found Kristin Lavransdatter to be just too damn long. I love a meaty book, but in this case much of the length was comprised of material I felt to be repetitive and/or uncompelling. Do we really need another description of Kristin's tortured weeping? Does it add anything to the whole that Kristin and Erlend are embroiled in yet another pointless battle of the wills? For me, the answer is no: I picked up on the tension between willfulness and religiosity in the first book, and by the end of the third felt like my head was being bludgeoned with it.

There were parts of the novel I did find beautiful and compelling. The last fifty pages, in which the black death arrives in Norway, fascinated me. (Some of you may already know about my weakness for plague narratives, and this was no exception, despite it being a vehicle for a final bout of melodrama.) For once, the upheaval is spread wide across the countryside, rather than festering silently in Kristin's heart, and I thought Undset did a good job imagining the effects of such a catastrophe on the rural medieval Norwegians.

Death and horror and suffering seemed to push people into a world without time. No more than a few weeks had passed, if the days were to be counted, and yet it already seemed as if the world that had existed before the plague and death began wandering naked through the land had disappeared from everyone's memory - the way the coastline sinks away when a ship heads out to sea on a rushing wind. It was as if no living soul dared hold on to the memory that life and the progression of workdays had once seemed close, while death was far away; nor was anyone capable of imagining that things might be that way again, if all human beings did not perish.

Kristin is good in a crisis but bad - very bad - without one. She's what we moderns call a "drama queen": if there's no emergency, she'll create one. So it's understandable that Undset ends her protagonist's life in the midst of a genuine catastrophe. As Kristin herself lies dying, she even has a much looked-for (by me, at least) epiphany that she has loved her life, despite all her trials, and that she has not alienated herself from God after all:

It seemed to her a mystery that she could not comprehend, but she was certain that God had held her firmly in a pact which had been made for her, without her knowing it, from a love that had been poured over her - and in spite of her willfulness, in spite of her melancholy, earthbound heart, some of that love had stayed inside her, had worked on her like sun on the earth, had driven forth a crop that neither the fiercest fire of passion nor its stormiest anger could completely destroy. She had been a servant of God - a stubborn, defiant maid, most often an eye-servant in her payers and unfaithful in her heart, indolent and neglectful, impatient toward admonishments, inconstant in her deeds. And yet He had held her firmly in His service, and under the glittering gold ring a mark had been secretly impressed upon her, showing that she was His servant, owned by the Lord and King who would now come, borne on the consecrated hands ot he priest, to give her release and salvation.

Despite my own agnosticism, I find this passage quite beautiful. It actually reminds me of one of my favorite moments in Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, although Woolf was obviously a much more secular, not to mention restrained and subtle, writer. I think a lot of its power comes from listing; I have trouble resisting a good rhetorical list.

But all in all, these last fifty pages were too little, too late. I am too far out of sympathy with Undset's apparent glorification of religious guilt to value slogging through hundreds upon hundreds of pages with a character as selfish and unlikeable as Kristin, particularly when any mitigating rewards - stimulating prose, original characterization, clever plot twists, HUMOR - are so conspicuously absent. I am bemused that a book which seemed to me so tiresome is, for other folks, so transformative...but that's the beauty of literature, isn't it? To each their own.

Check out others' final posts, and join us for Virginia Woolf in January and February! Much thanks to my reluctant co-host Richard for sticking by this lackluster choice of mine, and to all you other lovely readers who chimed in and made this a fun exercise.

  • Richard takes Undset to task for her lazy storytelling habits.

  • Amy found the repetition in the books annoying, but thought The Cross improved a bit after Erlend's death. She also writes movingly about her personal history with the trilogy.

  • Claire is equally unimpressed with The Cross as with the first two books, and is relieved to cross Undset off her list of Nobel winners to be read.

  • Gavin, despite having struggled with all the weeping in The Wife, gives the trilogy overall a fairly positive review, citing one of my own favorite passages from the plague section.

  • Jill theorizes about why the 1928 Nobel Committee might have awarded the prize to Undset, and concludes that it may have been the easiest choice politically.

  • Sarah likens getting to know Kristin to one of those sort-of-fun but totally out-to-lunch friends that you remember later with a rueful shake of your head.

  • Softdrink laments the totally unnecessary LENGTH of the trilogy, along with the angst and weeping.

  • Valerie sees both good and bad in Undset's trilogy, but thinks its epic length did nothing to improve its quality.

  • Wendy gives the trilogy as a whole a positive review, citing Undset's descriptions of the land, and the wealth of detail evoking 14th-century Norwegian life. (Also, because we were a bit out-of-step and I failed to post Wendy's first reviews, here are her thoughts on The Wreath and The Wife. Sorry about that, Wendy!)

Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wife


Thanks for dropping by the second installment of the Kristin Lavransdatter readalong, hosted by myself and, however reluctantly, Richard. :-) We'll be collecting everyone's responses to The Wife, Book Two in Sigrid Undset's 1920-22 trilogy.

Personally, The Wife was a bit of a mixed bag for me. The first 150 pages continued some of my least favorite aspects of The Wreath: guilt-ridden Christian moralizing, overwrought dramatic shenanigans from main characters, and seemingly ENDLESS weeping on the part of Kristin herself. Indeed, there's hardly a scene after Kristin's childhood in which she doesn't break down in tears for one reason or another. If she can't have what she wants, she cries. If she gets what she wanted, she feels guilty and cries. If nobody is paying attention to her, she cries some more. If she's the center of attention, she takes the opportunity to...cry. No wonder the woman loses weight throughout the book; between the tears and the alcohol consumption, she is probably severely dehydrated. After several hundred pages of listening to her whiny, guilt-stricken interior voice, my sympathy was wearing very thin. Like Lavrans, watching her weep at his bedside, I was continually asking "What is it now, Kristin?"

Kristin's inability to find peace for the sins of her early life is intensely annoying, but not unbelievable. I have to admit that I can relate to the experience of banging up against the same mental/emotional wall for years and years, making little headway, and even being alienatingly self-involved in the process. And a third of the book still remains for Kristin to come to terms with her demons. But what interests me about her spiritual block is how it reflects Undset's relationship to the church.


During the early scene when Kristin is walking twenty miles barefoot in sackcloth in order to be granted absolution by the Archbishop at Nidaros Cathedral (shown above, image courtesy of Flickr user Lisa Day), I thought to myself that, even if this kind of mentality seems harsh to me, belief in a Church hierarchy does at least provide a way out for believers who fall victim to sin. Kristin has to do this intense, painful penance, but after she's done it and the Church higher-ups tell her she's forgiven, she should feel at peace, right? That's one benefit of belonging to something like the medieval Catholic Church: someone else can theoretically decide for you when your sins have been purged, and then you get to start over with a clean slate.

But Kristin? Does not regain peace when the Church fathers have told her she's forgiven. She even weeps herself into two religious visions, and neither of them make much of a dent in her seemingly endless supply of self-recrimination. In some other book (James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, for example, in which Stephen Dedalus is hounded into complete abandon by his religious guilt), I might read this as a judgment of the Church - about how it's unrealistic to attempt to externalize shame, guilt, and forgiveness, or that any other human could know whether or not God has cleansed us of our sins. But it doesn't seem to me that Undset is taking this view. After all, she herself converted from skeptical agnosticism to Catholicism just 2-3 short years after this book was published, so she must have found some value in the structure and ritual it provided, even if, in her novel, it seems to act more as a crutch to prolong Kristin's self-flagellation, than as a comfort to mitigate it.

Most of the time I feel Undset is trying her best simply to present the medieval Norwegian Church: there are earnest, pious priests like Brother Edvin and Gunnulf Nikulaussøn, and there are also people who abuse their position in the hierarchy. Among the lay people, there are those who are victimized by the Church (men and women accused of witchcraft), and those who derive comfort and strength from it. But I continue to wonder about Undset's choice of protagonist - why focus on a character who seems, however pious, to be immune from the comforts offered by the Church - who seems actually to be made a WORSE person by her religiosity? Is Undset working out her own crisis of faith, just prior to conversion? Or is she merely making the point that spiritual journeys can be long and torturous? And why does Kristin have a more difficult time reconciling herself to her past mistakes than certain other characters do - her husband, for example? This is a question I often have about protagonists eaten up by religious guilt. Nobody around Stephen Dedalus seems to think they're going to Hell for a passing crush on a woman glimpsed on the streetcar, but he, for whatever reason, does. The priests have all told Kristin she has made amends for having sex before marriage, but she can't accept it. In both cases, the all-consuming guilt these characters feel erodes their ability to live their lives in a generous and responsible way.

What singles out these super-sensitive, selfish, all-or-nothing believers? A number of Stephen's behaviors (in particular his childhood bedtime ritual, which must be completed properly on pain of eternal damnation) align neatly with a modern diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder; Kristin, though, just seems depressed. One interesting parallel Stephen and Kristin DO share is an extremely close connection with their opposite-sex parent; Stephen spends Ulysses hallucinating his dead mother, and Kristin's relationship with Lavrans is a little too close for comfort. Is an overdeveloped religious fixation tied to some kind of Oedipus/Electra complex? Portrait and Kristin came out within four years of each other, around the time that Freud's theories were beginning to gain currency.

In any case, Kristin and her religious guilt do get to be a bit much. Yet around the 450-page mark (of the omnibus edition), I found myself enjoying the novel more than I had previously. Undset's narrative branches out, and we spend extended periods either outside Kristin's head completely, or observing through her eyes with minimal commentary. Whenever this happened, as in the narratives of Kristin's ex-fiancé Simon or Erlend's brother Gunnulf, I found myself relaxing into the storyline and enjoying the exploration of different corners of the medieval world, whether it be the hostels of Rome or the unconverted wilds of Finland. Occasionally, too, I started noticing moments when Undset made surprisingly poignant use of her plain, unadorned prose. This exchange between Lavrans and Ragnfrid, for example, struck me as lovely:

"Perhaps you may think, wife, that you've had more sorrow than joy with me; things did go wrong for us in some ways. And yet I think we have been faithful friends. And this is what I have thought: that afterwards we will meet again in such a manner that all the wrongs will no longer separate us; and the friendship that we had, God will build even stronger."

Something about the quietness of that "I think we have been faithful friends" is very touching to me, although it's marred by Ragnfrid's wish a few pages later that he had just hit her once in a while. Likewise, Kristin's slow realization of the depths of her parents' relationship, although it seemed a little, um, delayed (what is she here? in her mid-twenties?), struck a chord as well:

While she lived at Jørundgaard, she had never thought otherwise than that her parents' whole life and everything they did was for the sake of her and her sisters. Now she seemed to realize that great currents of both sorrow and joy had flowed between these two people, who had been given to each other in their youth by their fathers, without being asked. And she knew nothing of this except that they had departed from her life together. Now she understood that the lives of these two people had contained much more than love for their children. And yet that love had been strong and wide and unfathomably deep..."

By the end of The Wife I felt that the second book is stronger than the first, although still not a knockout. Despite an annoying protagonist, it widens its scope and develops a diversity of characters, and relies less on clichés of gothic and romantic literature than The Wreath. When she's not obsessing on her own sinfulness, Kristin can make an insightful observer, as when she contrasts the feasting styles of her husband and father, and notes that Erlend tends not to get as drunk or boisterous as Lavrans, since he's not as constrained while sober. I'm sure that the Black Death will give Kristin lots of opportunities to wail and sob, but I'm also somewhat hopeful for more non-Kristin time in Undset's third volume.

Visit others' posts:

  • Amy enjoyed The Wife much less than The Wreath, due mostly to Kristin's unremitting sobs.

  • Claire loved the setting but disliked the narrative voice, with which she never really connected. She also has qualms about the lack of forgiveness displayed by Kristin and the other characters.

  • E.L. Fay continues her thoughtful exploration of the "anachronistic feminist," and argues that Kristin is convincingly embedded in her time - for better or worse.

  • Gavin writes that she enjoyed the second book more than the first, particularly the setting and political intrigue, but that Kristin's weeping and religious guilt continues to bother her.

  • Jill compares The Wife to Gone with the Wind, and notes that Kristin becomes less sympathetic while Erlend and Simon both become more so.

  • Lena remarks that, while it was satisfying to see Kristin become a slightly more competent adult, her tears and vengefulness toward Erlend were less compelling. She remarks that the only character she ends up feeling close to is Simon.

  • Richard finds Undset's narration style and content totally generic and uninteresting.

  • Sarah, like so many of us, found Kristin's crying and nagging to be very unpleasant, and coins the phrase "epic nonsense."

  • Softdrink wrote a pithy and amusing post highlighting Kristin's out-of-control fertility and her shrewish domestic stylings.

  • Valerie enjoyed The Wife less than The Wreath, and continues in her opinion that Kristin Lavransdatter is male-centric. (For another interesting conversation about the novel's gender politics, check out the comments on Sarah's post!)

Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath


Welcome to the first installment of the Kristin Lavransdatter readalong, hosted by me and Richard! I can't wait to read everyone's thoughts on the first volume of Unset's trilogy. In case you missed it, Sarah posted about a cool, Kristin-related exchange she shared with a customer at her job; what a lovely little moment. Also, Eva at A Striped Armchair reviewed the entire trilogy the other day, which she devoured in just a week! Go Eva! She was very careful and considerate not to post any spoilers in her review, but just so y'all know, I'm going to talk about some major plot points (of the first volume only!) in my entry. So, be forewarned: if you're not reading along but think you might want to attack Kristin Lavransdatter in the near future with no idea about the plot, you might want to skip my little essay here.

One of the reasons I suggested reading Kristin with a group was that I had heard such great things about it from a huge variety of sources, yet kept putting off the actual moment when I would crack open the covers and begin to read. Historical fiction is pretty far outside my normal reading comfort zone, especially books set in the medieval period that involve some kind of romance. I have certain snobbish instincts to bundle all such stories into my personal stereotype of awkward exposition, overwrought dialog, and anachronistically modern notions of love and marriage. Frankly, I think it's high time that snobbishness was challenged. And so far, Kristin Lavransdatter is doing a good job of challenging it, but in ways that are different than I anticipated. I think I was expecting something more like the work of Icelandic novelist Halldor Laxness: ultra-realistic; moving slowly and hinging on small, everyday events; grimly funny in a militantly anti-romantic way. Instead, Kristin moves quickly and smoothly, and involves big swathes of drama, veering at times into melodrama. I'm still not quite sure what to make of the old seduction-while-sheltering-in-the-barn-during-a-storm chestnut, or the conveniently untimely death of Erlend's first mistress Eline: both of those events disrupted the flow of my reading a bit, and made me direct rhetorical questions at the author: "Really, Sigrid?" I asked. "Really?" Nevertheless, apart from those two examples I was completely sucked into the story while I read it, and I think Undset does an impressive job of writing a thoroughly-researched novel that doesn't force its research down the reader's throat. Kristin, Lavrans, Ragnfrid and the others seem true to what I know about people, as well as being true (as far as I can tell) to their place and time. They don't stop in the midst of the action to explain their culture to the modern reader, which is one of my top peeves about "otherized" literature, including historical fiction. And Undset's descriptions of the Norwegian landscape are understated, yet lovely:

In the middle of the night she woke up when her father touched her shoulder in the dark.

"Get up," he said quietly. "Do you hear it?"

Then she heard the singing at the corners of the house - the deep, full tone of the moisture-laden south wind. Water was streaming off the roof, and the rain whispered as it fell on soft, melting snow.

Kristin threw on a dress and followed her father to the outer door. Together they stood and looked out into the bright May night. Warm wind and rain swept toward them. The sky was a heap of tangled, surging rain clouds; there was a seething from the woods, a whistling between the buildings. And up on the mountains they heard the hollow rumble of snow sliding down.

In one sense, the novel is called Kristin Lavransdatter simply because that's the main character's name: the old Norwegian naming system formed surnames from one's father's first name, so that I, since my dad is named Michael, would be Emily Michaelsdatter, and my dad, son of Warren, would be Michael Warrenson. So in a way Kristin Lavransdatter is as obvious a title as David Copperfield. In another way, though, I think it's more significant, because the relationship between Kristin and her father Lavrans is a major theme, at least in The Wreath. Kristin is her father's best-loved daughter - loved, it turns out, better than his wife, better than the home he's kept for them. In the early scenes, during her childhood, the tenderness between them is palpable. She identifies so much more strongly with her father than her mother that at one point Ragnfrid has to reassure Kristin that she actually loves her - and while I was inclined, as the story began, to sympathize with Lavrans and blame Ragnfrid for this family dynamic, those sympathies were significantly complicated by the end of The Wreath. In many ways, I think the Lavrans/Ragnfrid and Lavrans/Kristin relationships are more interesting and important, in this first volume, than Kristin's courtship and engagement to Erlend. Kristin's wintry standoff with her father, when she is living at home after he refuses to consent to her marriage, is so heartrending to me, and quite delicately done (this is probably the section of The Wreath that most closely approaches my expectations of Laxness-ian desperation). In the end, loving Kristin forces Lavrans to reexamine his own decisions and assumptions about how life works, which I think is an interesting commentary on families - how parents learn from their children, as well as the other way around.

To me, one of the most intriguing aspects of The Wreath is its portrayal of the process of Christianization. Kristin's family are devout Christians; it's established in the early pages of the novel that they're more pious than average: "...the other people in the valley felt that God's kingdom had cost them dearly enough in tithes, goods, and money already, so they thought it unnecessary to attend to feasts and prayers so strictly or to take in priests and monks unless there was a need for them." Yet even for the extremely pious in Undset's novel, it seems that their world has only been partially Christianized: in the villages and cities Christian beliefs apply, but in the mountains, away from civilization, live the elves, dwarves and trolls of the old, pre-Christian belief system. It's as if the medieval Norwegians perceived the work of religious conversion as applying more to the actual land itself than to the people living on it - as if the act of buildling churches and cities transformed a region from the territory of the old beliefs to a Christian region. Even Lavrans, who gives ample proofs of his piousness, sees no contradiction in continuing to believe in other kinds of supernatural beings in the mountains. Before seven-year-old Kristin has her titular vision of a blonde maiden with a golden wreath beckoning to her from beyond a pool, Lavrans admits that "I've seen herds of cattle and sheep, but I don't know whether they belonged to people or to the others." And after the little girl runs terrified back to her father, saying that she thinks the vision was a "dwarf maiden," nobody thinks to contradict her:

"Oh, that must have been the elf maiden - I tell you, she must have wanted to lure this pretty child into the mountain."

"Be quiet," said Lavrans harshly. "We shouldn't have talked about such things the way we did here in the forest. You never know who's under the stones, listening to every word."

He pulled out the golden chain with the reliquary cross from inside his shirt and hung it around Kristin's neck, placing it against her bare skin.

"All of you must guard your tongues well," he told them. "For Ragnfrid must never hear that the child was exposed to such danger."

So the Christian ethos, while real for these characters, is something that needs to be guarded and invoked, rather than something that naturally permeates the whole world around them. And threats to a Christian enclave are often localized and external - similar to a modern person's bodily fear of venturing into a "bad neighborhood." It's a take on religious conversion I'd never run across before, and one that fascinates me.

Tuesday over at Tuesday Reads wrote a couple of posts on the question of whether or not Kristin is a "modernist" novel, and I think it's an interesting question - one that speaks to what I was expecting from Undset versus what I got. Because it was published between 1920 and 1922 and often labeled "modernist," I was taken by surprise by the relatively traditional, un-experimental narrative style, and the somewhat Victorian level of drama (I wouldn't have batted an eyelash at the barn scene in, say, a Bronte novel, but I was surprised to find it in the twentieth century). So I think Tuesday's on to something in her rejection of the idea that this book is "modernist." On the other hand, there are certain, more subtle ways in which Undset plays with our expectations. Despite the romance elements and the fact that Kristin and Erlend triumph over steep odds to achieve their wedding, the end of The Wreath definitely doesn't feel like a happy-ever-after. Kristin experiences her wedding as a surreal nightmare, haunted by the sins she feels she has committed, and by the knowledge of how many people she's hurt to get what she wants. And the book itself doesn't end with the happy, reunited couple in their bridal bed, but with Kristin's parents, who must face up to their regrets about their own married life. So perhaps Undset is more transgressive than at first appears.

Regardless, I'm looking forward to continuing on to Part 2: The Wife.

Be sure to check out everyone else's thoughts! (I'll update this list as more folks post):

  • Amy mentions that, despite its 14th-century setting, Kristin still has many aspects that are relevant to 21st-century life.

  • Claire enjoyed the setting but was otherwise lukewarm about The Wreath. She theorizes that the novel may have been considered "modernist" for its frank sexuality.

  • Dawn writes about the role of religion in Kristin, and singles out a remark by Fru Aashild.

  • E.L. Fay commends Undset for creating a protagonist true to her time, unlike many "anachronistic feminists" found in historical fiction, and includes intriguing parallels with Dante.

  • Frances muses on her aversion to the historical fiction genre, and wonders what a useful definition of said genre might be.

  • Gavin is enjoying the historical aspects of the book, including the descriptions of the land and the growing role of the Church, but finds Kristin's storyline overly melodramatic.

  • Jason discusses the tragedy inherent in Kristin's renunciation of self: the way she's defined and self-defined solely in relation to the men around her.

  • Jill, who has finished all three volumes, says that she thinks The Wreath is the weakest of the three, and makes an interesting comparison between Kristin and Fiddler on the Roof.

  • Lena questions whether the love between Kristin and Erlend is worth having at the cost of Kristin's ties with the rest of her family, and also makes the interesting point that Undset was discouraged from writing historical fiction at the beginning of her career, only to return to it once her reputation had grown.

  • Lu does a fascinating analysis of Undset in light of her contemporary Simone de Beauvoir's writings on the traditional depiction of women in literature as the mysterious "other."

  • Richard acknowledges a few high points of The Wreath, but overall finds the overwrought plot to be a big turn-off.

  • Sarah gives The Wreath an overall good review, although she's dubious about the direction the larger book is heading, and is liking Kristin less and less as time goes on.

  • Softdrink writes hilariously about her conflicted sympathies - the characters frustrate her, but she also feels their flaws make for a memorable read.

  • Tuesday, as I mentioned, rejects the idea that Kristin is "modernist," and reads it as a tribute to Romance. (It's only fair to say that these are Tuesday's reading notes, not a final review.)

  • Valerie raises the interesting question of whether Kristin is a male-centered story, despite having a female protagonist.

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link to Wolves 2011 reading list
link to more disgust bibliography