2013 Anomalia
orig. Anomalia

Anomalia follows in the footsteps of Gustafsson’s debut novel, Whorestory: it gives a voice to those who, for one reason or another, don’t speak or no one listens to. This time, the voice belongs to children, animals and feral children.

Anomalia contains a ”book” of several main characters. Kamala’s book tells the story of two sisters, Amala and Kamala, both of whom reverend Joseph Singh finds from a West-Bengali wolf cave in 1920. The girls, abandoned by their parents, have grown as members of the wolf pack and behave like wolves. The reverend decides to save the girls for civilisation and, once he has killed the wolf mother, places the girls in a local orphanage where their education towards womanhood on the human scale begins.

Simultaneously, in another place and time, a stewardess discovers she is pregnant. However, the foetus is not healthy – it has a chromosome abnormality, Down syndrome. ”Are you able to give it a life worth living?” a colleague asks the stewardess while flipping through the pages of a yellow press newspaper, the headlines of which scream of the cruel fate of Baby P., who was tortured to death in 21st century London.

The book explores issues of human worth and the right to live, but does the human species possess an exclusive right to humanity? Anomalia is a story about humanity in animals and animality in humans. It links wolf children, children tortured to death and prenatal screening.

The novel is based on the play of the same name by the author herself. The experience of reading the book hurts, and it shows no mercy for the reader, even during the very last pages. Shutting your eyes is not an option either, for even if the main characters kept quiet, the stones would cry out their story.

Finland, Into