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Vulnerability and Disability in Contemporary Nordic Literature: Linn Ullmann’s Grace and Sofi Oksanen’s Baby Jane

Chapter in book
Authors Jenny Bergenmar
Published in Vulnerability in Scandinavian Art and Culture / edited by Adriana Margareta Dancus, Mats Hyvönen, Maria Karlsson
Pages 151-171
ISBN 978-3-030-37381-8
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Place of publication London
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion
Pages 151-171
Language en
Keywords Disability, Vulnerability, Linn Ullmann, Sofi Oksanen
Subject categories Languages and Literature


The aim of this article is to explore how the concept of vulnerability can provide new perspectives on disability in contemporary Nordic literary fiction. The article consists of two parts: the first outlines the relation between vulnerability and disability in key texts in the field of literature and disability, and the second uses the concept of vulnerability to explore disability in Linn Ullmann’s Grace (Picador, London, 2002) and Sofi Oksanen’s Baby Jane (Bazar, Stockholm, 2005). The analysis reveals that a focus on vulnerability may help to disrupt the idea of ‘the disabled’ as a separate group and as a specific theme in literature. An acknowledgement of a shared—albeit not equally distributed—vulnerability may be used to challenge ableism and place disability on a human continuum of abilities.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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