The 13-year-old Diva is an incredible person exceeding all boundaries in terms of her appetite for life and her enthusiasm regarding the project of life itself, where the Present and Lust are by far the most important. In a rich prose, chopped up and rearranged, as well as spiced up with various unforgettable maxims to be able to match a character as strong as Diva’s, Monika Fagerholm lets the young and ingenious “I” of the story depict her colorful life in a Swedish-Finnish 70s suburb. Diva has solid self-confidence, the looks of an angel, the height of a super-model, she is creative and has an unrivaled verbal skill, and she knows it. Diva allows herself to eat as much as she wants, to take up space, to give in to her newly-awakened sexuality, to fantasize freely and have big dreams, to take on her position in the world, from which she observes the rest of it and joins in with Cocteau: “surprise me”.
Diva is an account of a time, the atmosphere and exact references of which are as skillfully evoked as in Wonderful Women By The Water, but it is also a story illustrating with its shape and content an existential decision, an irrepressible desire to live life in the present and to the full.
“However much my friends praise Monika Fagerholm´s Diva, I am certain that they are unable to appreciate it like I do. 'It is the ultimate voice. Completely new in literature, thoroughly unique and still never sought,' says a friend. Sure, I think, but you haven´t understood. This is not a book. This is a gift. /…/ It makes me howl, actually, and catch my breath and laugh out loud. /…/ Some novels display new ways of living life in this world. Diva is such a novel.”
“Monika Fagerholm's first novel **Wonderful Women By The Water was an award-winning success, but her new 450 page novel is nothing short of a veritable masterpiece. That she had the ability to create a separate universe that the reader carries along with him- or herself and remembers for a long time, like an entirely unique flavour or shade of colour, became obvious in her first book. But , released this autumn, is something new, it is not merely a calm, peculiar world by the sea, but an impressing ever-expanding explosive universe.”
“It is an impressing achievement, not the least in its construction and consistency, and its richness in terms of thematics and purpose that keep your mind on it for a long time after finishing the novel.”
“It is, just like its heroine, both beautiful and intelligent – and just like her probably slightly insane.”
“With great skill, Fagerholm accomplishes her stylistic balancing act between loyalty to the world of the novel and fine, ironic story-telling. While the atmosphere of a diary is created, there is never any doubt that a cunning story-teller controls Diva´s magic pen.”
“The brilliantly obstinate linguistic world that she creates in the mind of a premature 13-year-old, a female Holden Caulfield with some Lolita-like traits, confuses and fascinates.”
“When I have turned over the last page, I start longing back to Diva´s world.”
- Monika Fagerholm
- Reading material
- Rights sold
Finland, Söderströms (Swedish language)
Finland, Teos (Finnish language)
Netherlands, De Geus
Sweden, Albert Bonniers