An old woman, caught between the present and her troubled past in another hemisphere, picks herself out of a puddle of water: ‘Her head is tender, and the left side of her body still feels strange: as if she has lost half of herself. Nevertheless, she understands things again.’ The characters in Maria Takolander’s collection of short stories, The Double, often seem as if they have mislaid parts of themselves – their sense of groundedness, their belief systems, their personal histories – but they push on, not always to positive effect.
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