Books

The Oblique Place

Author
Pascual Söderbaum, Caterina
Swedish title
Den skeva platsen
Category
Fiction \ Literature & Fiction
Pub Date
Oct 21, 2016

THE OBLIQUE PLACE is a complex and multifaceted narrative that in evocative, vibrant prose examines guilt and responsibility.

This is a family saga spanning several generations, with roots in the dark history of the twentieth century, from Nazi Germany’s euthanasia programme to a young woman’s childhood in Franco’s Catalonia. A literary journey which with the help of family documents and historical events digs deep into the events of the last century.


In the last days of the 1950s, aboard the cruise ship Ciudad de Cádiz, a young Swedish woman meets a Spanish member of the Foreign Legion, several years her senior and married with children. Their instantaneous and overwhelming attraction is the first step toward a marriage full of passion but marred by violence and addiction.

The novel takes us to idyllic Lake Attersee in Austria, where the employees at Nazi Germany’s euthanasia clinics and extermination camps are sent for a well-deserved rest. To Hartheim Castle, one of the sites chosen for the execution of the Nazi regime’s euthanasia programme, where the staff do their best to forget the horrors taking place within the castle walls with the help of alcohol, sex and sheer denial. To the summer residence Villa Saint-Jean, where malnourished children from France’s internment camps are sent to recover.

The questions the reader encounter are, can evil be passed down the generations? Are we subject to the conditions of history or can we choose our lives freely?