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Ester grew up in a working-class home in the 1930s Copenhagen. Her world is limited to the dark backyard-apartment and the narrow street and she rarely dares to cross the line to the Promised Land; the world outside. But in her thoughts she is out there where the world is bright and light and the people are beautiful and rich. She dreams of another life, longs for love and acceptance but reality and dreams rarely come together and the disappointments await her.

The loneliness torments Ester. She has a big empty space in her heart and she does not know who will fill it. Many of her dreams are lost except the dream of finding love. Everybody seems to be self-sufficient – or at least not in need of her. Every morning Ester struggles to fight her feeling of hopelessness, which surrounds her like a suffocating dim and a longing for oblivion seizes her.

Tove Ditlevsen makes Ester reflect the youth’s groping insecure years where carnal temptations, intense longings and unattainable dreams fill the entire existence with anxiety. With a special gift to observe and express sense impression, Tove Ditlevsen does not just take the reader back in time and into the core of an environment that used to be. She also takes the reader into the vulnerable essens of youth.

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Barndommens gade


Tove Ditlevsen

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