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This review is taken from PN Review 65, Volume 15 Number 3, January - February 1989.

PARALLEL LANGUAGE No Man's Land: An Anthology of modern Danish women's literature, edited and with an introduction by Annegret Heitmann (Norvik Press) £9.50 pb.

No Man's Land is among the first titles to be published by the Norvik Press, a new British imprint with a special interest in Scandinavian literature. Coming with a distinctive and lively cover, depicting a wry latter-day cupid from a lino-cut by the feminist writer Dea Trier Mørch, No Man's Land is intended as a companion volume for Out of Denmark, published in 1985 by the Danish Cultural Institute for the centenary of Karen Blixen's birth. Out of Denmark was an anthology of critical essays on Karen Blixen and contemporary Danish women writers: No Man's Land brings us rewarding examples of the work of each of the writers discussed in the earlier book.

In her introduction, Annegret Heitmann tackles some of the theoretical issues which arise from a reading of the texts she has selected. First, the question posed by the title itself, 'No Man's Land'. Do women have access to a special experience and culture, denied - at present - to men? Heitmann argues that they do, citing the work of the French feminist Luce Irigaray and the American Elaine Showalter in support of her contention. So Showalter uses the term 'no-man's land' to denote 'a female life-style and consciousness outside the bounds of male experience', and, Heitmann argues, the story 'No Man's Land' by Suzanne Brøgger (placed at mid-point in this collection) is concerned similarly with 'a genesis, a movement out into the border area of patriarchal institutions, into a new space, where a new ...


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