"In my experience of writing – and of life – the frenzy of dreams and that of form always go together." Iosi Havilio
Posts tagged "Sweden"
Unquiet spirits

Unquiet spirits

Even now, perhaps most especially today, understanding the events of the first half of the twentieth century has a significance that we cannot possibly afford to ignore. The way to the trauma, evil and pain, to the sociohistorical origins, causes, sociodynamics and pitfalls, and to the portents and lacunae we overlooked to our horrific detriment,...
Waves of joy and doubt

Waves of joy and doubt

During the Second World War Astrid Lindgren, creator of Pippi Longstocking, was an aspiring writer living in Stockholm with her family, working in a top secret job at the Swedish Mail Censorship Office. Horrified and fascinated as world events unfolded, she kept a meticulous diary full of newspaper clippings (and occasional snippets from the letters...
Tips for living

Tips for living

Britt-Marie is not judgemental, or fussy, or difficult. No matter how ill-mannered, thoughtless, impertinent or unkempt others may be. But she does expect things to be done in a certain way. She has lived a perfectly orderly life with her husband Kent in their rented apartment in Stockholm for the last forty years. But when...
Love all

Love all

What is literature if not a way to frame our vision of the world? What is language if not a prism through which to think, explore, relate, question, resolve, civilise – or merely (and vitally) voice despair? And what is love if not the ultimate Socratic demon, fusing together human lives, welding experiences, yielding truths,...
Blood well shed

Blood well shed

Early in his debut crime novel Clinch, Martin Holmén makes a play at our sympathy. Waiting for a business contact in the streets of 1930s Stockholm late one autumn evening, former boxer Harry Kvist spots a man beating a stray dog across the way. Kvist is quick to call the man out on his cruelty,...
Breece D’J Pancake: ‘Trilobites’

Breece D’J Pancake: ‘Trilobites’

Breece D’J Pancake is a legend amongst some of my writing friends – but, like any artist dying young, his legacy is coloured by the shadow of the great work that he could have gone on to create. Once you have read his only collection of stories, published posthumously in 1983, you will most likely,...
Ove does his rounds

Ove does his rounds

It was five to six in the morning when Ove and the cat met for the first time. The cat instantly disliked Ove exceedingly. The feeling was very much reciprocated. Ove had, as usual, got up ten minutes earlier. He could not make head nor tail of people who overslept and blamed it on the...
The rain

The rain

Three motorboats rushed across the water, their bows abreast. The sun shone and the boats they met waved and assumed they were having a race. In the middle boat, the broadest of the three, an old woman lay on a litter. The litter was made of an old red deckchair stretched out full length and...
The lovelorn dictator

The lovelorn dictator

When one looks back on one’s life, it is often the smallest decisions that have had the greatest impact. Like the moment a colleague of mine showed me an ad for a job and said: “Look Peter, this is really you,” and I had to agree because for once I could match all the criteria...
Twins

Twins

When I wrote my book The Twins, I was inspired by my own identical twin daughters, and the contradictions and complexities inside their intense and exclusive pairing. Wondering if the bonds between twins could ever be broken, I set out to explore the fictional possibilities inside that question, creating a premise where tragedy and guilt...