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Tasks: Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs

Tasks to the excerpt from "Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs" by Linda Olsson.

Bench on the beach

Literary Analysis:

  1. Point out the elements in this chapter which make it clear that we are on a different continent and that Veronika is new to the country?
  2. How is the relationship between Veronika and James depicted?
  3. When we start reading Chapter 26, we soon get the feeling that something terrible is going to happen. Which literary devices are used to create this kind of suspense or feeling of the inevitable? Find examples in the text.
  4. Veronika keeps repeating, ”I could have said.” Why?
  5. Veronika says that she knew. ”I just knew.” What was it that she knew?
  6. ”I was racing, but the world around me moved in slow motion, holding me back” What is conveyed in this sentence? Could this have been expressed differently? Give examples.
  7. Chapter 26 takes place in New Zealand on a Saturday in November. How is setting used in this chapter?
  8. In what way does the writer use repetition as a literary device throughout this chapter. Give examples. Why do you think she does so?
  9. The last sentence of the chapter reads, ”When I was still alive.” What does Veronika mean?
  10. What do you think happened to Veronika after James’ death?

Writing Tasks:

  1. Write an article about Linda Olsson. Take into account the experience of belonging to two countries, i.e. Sweden and New Zealand. How do you think this has influenced her writing? Have a look at Linda Olsson’s homepage, where she presents herself, to get some ideas.
  2. Linda Olsson is praised for her gentle and beautiful language. Write an article where you give examples of her linguistic choices, and explain how this might influence our reading.

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