Hot on the heels of Andreï Makine and his election to the Académie Française in March this year, fellow MacLehose Press author (soon to be), Sara Stridsberg, has been elected to the thirteenth chair of the Swedish Academy.
The Swedish Academy is, of course, the institution that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature. There are eighteen chairs, and membership is for life. Upon admission to the Academy at a special gathering in December, Stridsberg will replace the author and translator Gunnel Valqvist, who died in January this year. She will be only the tenth female member ever to have been admitted, and by far the youngest member of the current Academy, thus representing a new generation of authors in the most elite institution of Swedish literature.
Sara Stridsberg is an author, playwright and translator, born in Solna, Stockholm County. She originally trained as a lawyer before pursuing a career as a writer. Her debut novel Happy Sally was published in 2004 and is the story of Sally Bauer, who became the first Scandinavian woman to swim the English Channel in 1939. This was followed in 2006 by Drömfakulteten, which MacLehose Press will publish as The Faculty of Dreams in September next year, and which won the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize in 2007.
Stridsberg’s sixth novel, Beckomberga: Ode till min familj, was first published in Sweden in 2014, and will be published by MacLehose Press in November this year as The Gravity of Love, translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner.