On a remote country estate in the 19th century, a renowned obstetrician keeps a young girl that he once carved out of her mother’s body. It is the dawn of modern gynaecology, when the female body appears as a cryptic landscape and male hubris reigns.
The girl lives a dollhouse existence, characterized by supervision and punishment, assault and incarceration. Here, dirt and runaway visions dominate, while vast skies and sticky nature rub against her confinement.
Caesaria is part gothic novel, part fairy tale told in lush and elegant prose. These pages radiate a low-level dread, probing gender warfare and class oppression with dreamlike prose. What is reality to those who have grown up trapped in their own bodies, relying upon their own senses, without any contact with the world outside? Nordenhök shares an astonishing answer, almost mythological in scope, through the story of one eponymous girl.
Praise for Caesaria
“A novel as beautiful as it is unsettling. Hanna Nordenhök’s prose combines with singular mastery the density of poetry with the feverish atmosphere of a gothic tale.”
—Fernanda Melchor, author of Paradais and Hurricane Season
“Nordenhök’s locked up mansion is a disciplinary system of supervision and punishment, a claustrophobic spectacle where death and disaster are indisputable components in the condition of being a girl. Caesaria is wonderful!”
—Johanne Lykke Holm, author of Strega
“A breathlessly creepy and deeply affecting portrait of a girl’s life so confined and so deprived of impressions that it’s verging on madness.”—Göteborgs-Posten
“A dark, violent and at times breathtakingly beautiful tale, at the same time as it works as a brutal account on gender and power.” —Opulens