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Cathrine Harboe-Ree

Cathrine Harboe-Ree reviews 'Momoko: A novel of betrayal' by Steven Carroll

June 1994, no. 161 01 June 1994
Is it possible for love to flourish between an oppressor and one who is oppressed? J.M. Coetzee, in his novel Waiting for the Barbarians, thought not, but Coetzee provided some compensation for his hero by ennobling him to an almost mythical degree in order to present the argument that power can be used equally to fight injustice and brutality, or to inflict it. The main character in Coetzee’s n ... (read more)

Cathrine Harboe-Ree reviews 'Fellow Passengers: Collected stories' by Elizabeth Jolley

December 1997–January 1998, no. 197 27 October 2021
Elizabeth Jolley is quoted in this volume saying that ‘Writing for me is a ragged and restless activity with scattered fragments to be pieced together rather like a patchwork quilt.’ To a degree this is an apt metaphor, suggesting as it does careful attention to the particular and the gradual accumulation of the discrete parts into a whole. It also suggests the contrast between light and dark ... (read more)

Cathrine Harboe-Ree reviews 'The Hand That Signed the Paper' by Helen Demidenko

October 1994, no. 165 01 October 1994
Whether you track backwards in time from the hidden pestilence that is Chernobyl, or forwards from the vengeful terror of Stalin’s collectivisation and anti-nationalist policies, it is an inescapable fact that the Ukraine has had a bloody and awful century. In the winter of 1932-33 alone some four to five million Ukrainians died in the famine caused by Stalin’s brutal agricultural ‘reforms ... (read more)