Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Gripe, Maria Kristina

(1923-2007). Swedish author. Her first fantasy, Glasblåsarnas barn (1964; trans Sheila La Farge as The Glassblower's Children 1973 US), was, like I klockornas tid (1965; trans La Farge as In the Time of the Bells 1976 US) and Landet utanför (1967; trans La Farge as The Land Beyond 1974 US), a medieval fantasy, in part inspired by MKG's fascination with the Edda. In particular, Landet utanför is a complex, innovative novel, telling the same story twice in different ways and with changed emphasis.

MKG returned to fantasy of a new, more enigmatic kind with Tordyveln flyger i skymningen (1978), based on a radio play, Agnes Cecilia – en sällsam historia (1981) and the so-called Shadows series: Skuggan över stenbänken (1982), Och de vita skuggorna i skogen (1984), Skuggornas barn (1986) and Skugg-gömman (1988). In these novels, ethereal and minimalist suggestions of mysticism and a restatement of MKG's fundamental theme of the basic importance of imagination to life and sanity are combined in a highly literate and intellectually challenging manner. The Shadows tetralogy is a towering achievement; beginning in 1911, it tells of young Berta and the new maid, Caroline, whose identity remains the series' central mystery, but it is also a story of shifting Realities, of sexual and psychological identities, and of Rites of Passage. [J-HH]

Maria Kristina Gripe

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.