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Booktail party

Among the books being published this autumn are three jewels of Swedish literature. Lauded by both public and critics, these three novels tackle burning topics head-on: women’s liberation, xenophobia and the environmental crisis. Their authors will be getting together at the Institut Suédois for a ‘Booktail Party’ at café FIKA, the first of its kind!
Photo of the three books the talk is about in the café FIKA, with artworks from Stina Wirsén in the background.

Elin Cullhed’s first novel Euphorie (in French) is an incandescent work based on the life on Sylvia Plath. In the 1960s, the young poet, who was recovering after a tough period in her life, moved to the London suburbs with her husband and children. Assailed by regrets relating to her life as a writer and a free woman, she slowly sank into depression. Is Plath’s illness not that of the world and its contradictions, somewhere between an ode to freedom and the pressure of convention? Elin Cullhed was awarded the prestigious August Prize in 2021 for this novel.

Ann-Helén Laestadius also presents her first novel for adults after winning the August Prize for the best children’s novel in 2016. Stöld is the story of Elsa, the daughter of Sami reindeer herders, who witnesses the brutal killing of her fawn at the age of nine. She recognises the perpetrator, a Swedish man from the neighbouring village who has been bullying her family and the local community for years, but he makes her keep silent. Ten years later, Elsa at last tells her story. Stöld tells the story of a young woman’s struggle to defend her heritage and her role in a society where traditions, fear and hatred exist side by side.

Jens Liljestrand is a famous writer in Sweden, known in particular for his documentary work. Et la forêt brûlera sous nos pas (in French) is a page turner about the different reactions of four characters as a catastrophic forest fire approaches. Courage, cowardice, indifference, anger…how do we react to these crises over which we have so little control? Jens Liljestrand’s novel forces us to ask ourselves these tough questions.

The event is moderated by Marie-Madeleine Rigopoulos, literary journalist and artistic director of the Festival du Livre de Paris.

The books in French:

  • Euphorie by Elin Cullhed translated by Anna Gibson for Editions de l’Observatoire
  • Stöld by Ann-Helén Laestadius translated by Anna Postel for Robert Laffont
  • Et la forêt brûlera sous nos pas by Jens Liljestrand translated by Anna Postel for Autrement

Useful information

  • At the café FIKA, in our courtyard.
  • Admission free while seats last.