Amid Armin‘s pages, from the first to the last one, there is a lingering sense of cooperation, where people’s traditions and stories seem to share a universal experience. The magic that permeates the work of Pettersson, who is already accustomed to transferring to paper the notions learned during her academic studies (and whose story represents the sequel of 2022’s highly appreciated Alter), is not only visible in the clear references to local beliefs, the languages of the peoples, and the rituals that also do not spare taboos, but flows in the words, chosen with poetic precision, in the gestures, sometimes unexpected, and in the thoughts, simple and yet full of meaning, of its characters, who in the bond of friendship eventually find the fraternal strength of collaboration towards a common goal, with all the conflicts, disagreements and misunderstandings that make even what is not so verisimilarly human. In this tale with a universal scope, the stories eventually intertwine in a web of correspondences intended to enhance the sense of roots and community.
The story of Armin, shattered in the soul by bereavement and yet resilient in the face of adversity, expectations, as well as responsibility and moral sense, is not so different from that of his fellow travellers in the unsettling world somewhere between dream and reality created by the author, who nonetheless addresses issues relevant to the modern world, such as research ethics, genetic experiments and the creation of artificial life. Above all, Armin’s story is not so different from those who strenuously lead a difficult existence in the name of truth and with respect for life.
Pettersson’s work invites just that: finding the courage to exist. No matter what.
Joanna Pettersson (pen name) comes originally from Poland, but she has lived in Scandinavia for many years. Currently, she teaches Linguistics and Translation Theory at a Norwegian university.
In her free time, she writes fiction. She published three novels and several short story collections in Polish. Her novel from 2020, Alter, appeared translated into English in 2022, published by Europe Books.
Her literary work was described as magical realism and psychological fantasy. She finds inspiration in the Medieval history of Europe, Nordic and Slavic myths, and Scandinavian ballads.