Skram, Amalie

| 2002

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In Lucie, written in 1888, shortly before Skram was incarcerated in an asylum for being out of her mind, she tells the story of a fallen woman, a dancing girl from Tivoli who is the mistress of the respectable bourgeois Theodor. He is so captivated by her that he charms and marries her and tries to turn her into a respectable woman. However, her lower-class origin and sexual experience creates an unbridgeable gulf between her and the other wives. Theodor's increasingly brutal attempts to quell her independent spirit push her into actions that lead by inevitable steps toward tragedy. The novel is set in Norway's capital city of Kristiania and Skram has an acute eye for detail and her realistic descriptions of degrading poverty call to mind the writings of her contemporary, Emile Zola.

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