Book Review: Many People Die Like You

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Her Characters’ Plights Are Familiar to Those We All Deal With

Wolff’s stories are not as morbid as the title might lead you to believe. Some of them are about real death, but some are about emotional death. And with some of these characters who died, there also comes rebirth, or life in others. Each story emphasizes some type of human suffering, whether it’s loneliness, old age, regret, a dead-end job or being stuck in a marriage that has run its course. With every sadness, however, Lina contrasts it with someone else’s happiness. 

As a husband withers and dies in a nursing home, his wife finds a reason for living when she no longer has to bear the burden of her invalid husband. An older woman whom everyone thought was a washed up spinster discovers she has much more life left to live and becomes reenergized. 

Many of the characters turn to sexual affairs to make them feel revitalized and alive, and while, in the end, they learn that the feeling is only temporary, some are all the better for the experience.

About The Author

Swedish writer Lina Wolff has lived and worked in Italy and Spain. During her years in Valencia and Madrid, she began to write her short story collection Many People Die Like You. Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs, her first novel, was awarded the prestigious Vi Magazine Literature Prize and shortlisted for the prestigious 2013 Swedish Radio Award for Best Novel of the Year. It was published by And Other Stories in 2018, followed by her second novel, The Polyglot Lovers, in 2019. Wolff now lives in southern Sweden.

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Article originally Published in the February/March 2020 Issue “Short Stories”

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