Ten years ago, Ingmar Bergman traded in the technological tools of filmmaking for the simpler devices of prose. Yet the cinematic lens still seems to reside between his thoughts and his words. Private Confessions continues Bergman's autobiographical project, which he began in two earlier novels and two volumes of memoirs. In the spare words of blocking and camera angles, this slim novel stages a story of adultery through which we see Bergman's attempts to understand his parents' troubled relationship. Through a series of revelatory confessions, Anna tells of her affair with her husband's young friend Tomas and her unhappiness with her life as wife of a dour country pastor. Bergman nails scenes in taut prose and stunning bursts of dialogue, but the overall story is unrelenting, with little to hold as beautiful, save the starkness of Bergman's expression and the deep probing of his own creative psyche.