Writer portrait 
Selma Lagerlöf

Selma Lagerlöf

Selma Lagerlöf was born in 1858 in the Swedish province of Värmland and is not only the first female laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature but also one of Sweden’s most well known and loved writers. From her debut in 1891 on, Lagerlöf published a multitude of books, several of which have been translated to English.

Lagerlöf’s books are characterized by a sort of magic realism where a deep rooting in the environments of both towns and countryside is spiced up with elements from folklore and sheer fantasy. Thus, the saga is always alive and you can never know what will happen next, but tragedy is never far away and the problems of the late 1900th and early 2000th century, especially the widespread alcoholism and the situation for the poor, are presented with a vivid realistic touch.

Selma Lagerlöf was born and grew up in a country estate called Mårbacka in Sunne, located in Värmland in western Sweden. Even though Mårbacka is often mentioned it was in the town of Falun Selma Lagerlöf wrote most of her prominent works. Selma and her brother and sisters were home-schooled, where she learned English and French.

After a few years as a student at a teachers' academy in Stockholm she switched her studies to the history of literature. After a few failed novels and a few years working as a teacher "The Story of Gösta Berling" was published. Her style of writing was quite controversial and broke many of the existing decorums of the time.

After many years living in Stockholm and later Landskrona she moved back to Falun in order to be closer to her family. With the Swedish writer Sophie Elkan she travelled Europe and later the Middle East. After her travels she wrote her international breakthrough novel "Jerusalem". Later she followed up with the internationally famous "The Wonderful Adventures of Nils", probably her most famous work.

In 1909 she received the Nobel Prize in Literature "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings". A few years later, in 1914, she beacme a member of the Swedish Academy, the first woman ever to be a member. She was also the first female laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Selma Lagerlöf died in 1940 at Mårbacka, in the same house in which she grew up.

Text: Sebastian Nilsson Lindberg and Simon Solders

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 Book presentations 

The Story of Gösta Berling

“The Story of Gösta Berling”, written in 1891, is not only Selma Lagerlöf’s first novel, but also one of her most known and read. Set in the countryside of Sweden, with which Lagerlöf was so familiar, it is a story whose main character is hard to fully sympathize with.

The Emperor of Portugallia

“The Emperor of Portugallia” is both a tragic tale of not being able to deal with reality, and a fantastic story about how the realms of reality are not always enough.

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

“The Wonderful Adventures of Nils”, written in 1906 to 1907, came to be when Selma Lagerlöf was asked to write a book that could teach Swedish geography to school children.



Publications

The Story of Gösta Berling

by Selma Lagerlöf
“The Story of Gösta Berling”, written in 1891, is not only Selma Lagerlöf’s first novel, but also one of her most known and read. Set in the countryside of Sweden, with which Lagerlöf was so familiar, it is a story whose main character is hard to fully sympathize with.

The Emperor of Portugallia

by Selma Lagerlöf
“The Emperor of Portugallia” is both a tragic tale of not being able to deal with reality, and a fantastic story about how the realms of reality are not always enough.

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

by Selma Lagerlöf
“The Wonderful Adventures of Nils”, written in 1906 to 1907, came to be when Selma Lagerlöf was asked to write a book that could teach Swedish geography to school children.

Books of special interest

The Merman

by Carl-Johan Vallgren
A story about the darkness that lives in all humans, even though most of us try to deny it.

Echoes from the Dead

by Johan Theorin
This is the first novel in the author’s planned quartet of books taking place on the Swedish island of Öland.

The Dogs of Riga

by Henning Mankell
The second book in the Kurt Wallander series.

Simon and the Oaks

by Marianne Fredriksson
A beautiful story about sons and their mothers.

New Collected Poems

by Tomas Tranströmer
Tomas Tranströmer is the 2011 Nobel Prize laureate in Literature. This books contains his collected work from his debut in 1954 with "17 Poems" to his most recent publications.

The Red Room

by August Strindberg
Criticizing the moral and hypocrisy in 1870s Stockholm.

Children's books

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

by Selma Lagerlöf
“The Wonderful Adventures of Nils”, written in 1906 to 1907, came to be when Selma Lagerlöf was asked to write a book that could teach Swedish geography to school children.

Pippi Longstocking

by Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking lives alone in the big house “Villekulla“. Her father is busy pirating at sea and ruling as king of Kurrekurredutt Isle. But she is not lonely, as she has her friends Tommy and Annika, her horse Little buddy and her monkey Mr. Nilsson.

Bridget and the Moose Brothers

by Pija Lindenbaum
Bridget is all alone. She wants a sibling. A small one who can fit in her doll bed. Or maybe a big brother. Outside her building she meets the moose brothers and invites them to her room, having big plans to become their little sister.

When Owen's Mom Breathed Fire

by Pija Lindenbaum
Owen´s mom is always very busy. Every morning she is in a great hurry to get Owen up and to school and herself to work. But one day she has been turned into a big dragon and no longer knows how to be a mum.

The Diamond Mystery

by Martin Widmark
The first part in the popular series about Jerry and Maya, the children who are running their very own detective agency.

The Literary Magazine lists

Money

by Victoria Benedictsson
“Money” is Benedictsson's first novel, publish...

The Merman

by Carl-Johan Vallgren
Coming from a shattered family, the children Nella and Robert ...

Miss Julie

by August Strindberg
It’s Midsummer night in 1874 at a Count’s estate s...

The Red Room

by August Strindberg
First published in 1879, it received mixed reviews in Sweden, ...

New Collected Poems

by Tomas Tranströmer
Tomas Tranströmer is the 2011 Nobel Prize laureate in Lit...

The Dogs of Riga

by Henning Mankell
It’s the winter of 1991 and a small life raft with two d...

Italian Shoes

by Henning Mankell
On a small, isolated island in the Stockholm archipelago, Fred...

I Die, But the Memory Lives On

by Henning Mankell
A nonfictional fable about a growing tradition in countries in...

The Man from Beijing

by Henning Mankell
On a freezing day in January, a body is found in the snow in t...

The Ice Princess

by Camilla Läckberg
Published in 2002, this is Camilla Läckberg’s debut...

About The Literary Magazine

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The Literary Magazine is produced by the lagest Swedish literary magazine, LitteraturMagazinet, and based out of Stockholm, Sweden.

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