Swedish / Sweden

Flyt som en fjäril, stick som ett bi
(Fly like a butterfl y, sting like a bee)

Nilsson, Elin (text)
Stockholm: Alfabeta, 2013. – 236 p.
ISBN 978-91-501-1552-9

Swimming | Search for identity | Family | Friendship | Internet | Coming-of-age novel

Miranda loves the water. She really wants to compete in the Swedish junior championship, so she trains nine times a week, working hard on her speciality, the butterfly stroke. Outside the pool, things aren’t great. Her brother – the amoeba, as Miranda calls him – is obsessed with World of Warcraft and has become remote. When she has a fight with her best friend and her competitor Rebecka switches into her swim league, Miranda has a crisis. Using sports as a metaphor to tease out the difficult path of growing up is a tried and true approach. Here Miranda has difficulties (at first) to identify conflicts outside the pool and to handle them; gradually her swimming helps her find her footing on land.

Using ellipses, paratactic series, and anaphoric repetitions, Elin Nilsson gives her heroine a suggestive language that refl ects the breathlessness as well as the meditative and satisfying exhaustion of swimming. (Age: 12+)