Wednesday, September 7, 2016

“Girls” is a sad, beautiful, raw and original – Helsingborgs Dagblad

Emma Cline. The girls. Övers Erik MacQueen. Natural & amp; Culture.

27-year-old Emma Cline talked-about debut “girls” ( “The Girls”) sold in a short time to 35 countries. Photo: Megan Cline

in connection with the historic peace agreement between the militant Columbian FARC and the government have both Swedish and foreign media lately been full of testimonies from former guerrilla members. Many of them have been women. When asked why they once chose to join a movement that engaged in serious violence, drug distribution and kidnappings sounds answer is almost always the same: It was either that or become someone’s wife.

I think it is the end you have to start in order to understand why people put themselves in destructive life situations. It is rarely a question of an attraction to the specific situation, but an escape from one another: for women is often a position of unfreedom, monotony and dependency. It is also in the end the American author Emma Cline starts in his debut novel “The girls”, a story about the young women gathered around the hippie-era self Rasputin, cult leader and serial killer Charles Manson. She does not set all asked what they were looking for – but what they wanted to escape from.

The main character is a fourteen-year-old Evie Boyd, a rather ordinary California girl whose parents recently divorced. The father has moved to a new city, the mother has begun to engage in new age, spiritualism and self-development, and Evie’s only real friend breaks up with her when Evie turns out to be bad at subdued hang with the guys and their mopeds. Zeitgeist – it is understandable 1960s – dictates that adults should allow young people to have their freedom, while there are many unwritten rules that must not be broken, especially for girls. Full Evie’s world seems empty of people and love, but full of regulations about how she should be: sweet, well-mannered, interested in guys, she’ll take care of himself and not interfere. The future seems as empty, stationary and predetermined. Go to college. Meet some splendid student guy. Be someone’s wife.

But then she meets the slightly older Susanne, and another world opens up. On a ranch outside of town alive Susanne and a great bunch of other young people, mostly women, a life beyond the conventions of society, led by the charismatic messiah figure Russell. It is a life of starvation, drugs, dirt and sexual coercion, but also by some kind of community and a defiant, wild freedom that get Evie to do almost anything to get to be a part of it.

the story of Charles Manson and his “family” has become a kind of popular public domain, and much interest is of course directed at the women he had to follow him and obey his will, whether it was to steal money, set of six, recruit new or young women – in the bloody end of the family saga – murder. When Cline approaching the story, however, with a focus that is more on women between the Community, than the relationship to the man who collected them. They are a collection dandelion children where all the women of the flower petals have fallen away – they are dirty, brutish, smelly, selfish. A flock that pulls up with sharpened teeth, stronger together, but basically just alone in the Russell family in dysfunctional families they fled.

Cline writes one at once dreamy and just poetic prose in which sensory impressions gets great location. The scents, the sights, sounds, all rendered with a low-intensity electric intensity. “Girls” is a sad, beautiful, raw and original and Emma Cline a writer to watch.


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