Journalism

07/01/20

Knausgaard, Cake, Patriarchy, Pleasure: Norway

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BLOOMBERG

It's a well-known fact among traveled women that the best-looking men on the planet can be observed at the Oslo Airport. Broad of shoulder, lean of shank, with the wellspring of Viking DNA still flowing in Norway. Less widely noted is that Norwegian women run the country.

Last summer, I left New York for a semester as a lecturer at university in a medium-size fjord town four hours south of Oslo. I'd lived in Manhattan off and mostly on for 20  years, but the thrill had begun to wear thin. The thing that had made New York worth living in was its enticing array of amusements. But invitations to gallery openings and soirees with swells had lately failed to compensate for the city's darker side, starting with the cost of living, health care, and education for our teens. Some kind of free fall was evident everywhere. Even friends with jobs and money were twitching with anxiety. Subways rang with the World War III-style warning sound of iPhone bad weather alerts.
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