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Our cover pictures in the 2001:2 issue are taken from the book Rosenbad. Huset som spegel (also published in English as Rosenbad. The Building as a Mirror) with kind permission of the author, Ulf Sörenson, and the publishers, Stockholmia förlag. The book, published in 2001, is No. 156 in the series of monographs commissioned by the City of Stockholm through its Committee for Documentation on Stockholm (Kommittén för Stockholmsforskning). Liberally illustrated with an exceptionally fine array of photographs, it traces the history of the complex of buildings known as Rosenbad, now the home of the Swedish government offices. And a fascinating history it is. The name comes from the days when part of its predecessor on the site was a bath house, run by an enterprising immigrant from Germany and his Swedish wife; but the main emphasis of the book is on the design and construction of the present buildings at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.
As the title of the book suggests, Rosenbad reflects not only the architects who designed it, but also the unfolding history of Stockholm and indeed the social history of Sweden. The original owners of the buildings were banks — banks in the modern sense were new to Sweden as the end of the 19th century approached, but their growing significance in the modern capitalist era is reflected in their desire to outdo each other in splendour and opulence.
Now Rosenbad is at the very heart of Swedish government, and the Prime Minister occupies what was once the luxurious apartment of one of Sweden's richest men. This history of Rosenbad is much more than the story of a building, and deserves to be read by anyone with an interest in Sweden and its capital city. The picture on our front cover shows Ferdinand Boberg's original Rosenbad, painted in 1939; the back cover is a photo of a similar view today.

2001:2 Issue


Moomin Magic - Tove Jansson
W Glyn Jones
Tove Jansson died on 27 June 2001 at the age of 86. Rarely has a Scandinavian writer made such an impact world-wide as the Finland-Swedish artist turned author — there can be few people alive today who were not weaned on her Moomin books. W Glyn Jones, whose book on Jansson was published by Twayne in 1984 and appeared in Swedish translation the same year, considers the reasons for her success.
 
Elsie Johansson's Nancy trilogy
Sarah Death
Elsie Johansson was born in 1931 and was nearly fifty by the time she made her literary debut. In recent years she has won widespread readership and critical acclaim for a series of novels based on her childhood in rural Uppland. She won both the Ivar Lo-Johansson Prize and the Moa Martinson Prize for her Nancy books. Sarah Death introduces Johansson's work and presents her translations of extracts from Mosippan (The Pasque Flower, 1999) and Nancy (2001).
 
Björn Ranelid
transl. Laurie Thompson
Björn Ranelid was born in Malmö in 1949, and lived there for the first 26 years of his life; he has been based in Stockholm since 1989. He published his first novel in 1983, and has written over a dozen books since then, several of them being awarded prestigious prizes. Ranelid's Swedish style is unmistakable — often poetic and adventurous, lyrical and imaginative yet precise and accurate, evoking associations and stimulating new visions. Laurie Thompson introduces Ranelid's work and presents his translation of an extract from Tusen kvinnor och en sorg (A Thousand Women and One Sorrow).
Per Gunnar Evander
Rick McGregor
Per Gunnar Evander was born in Ovansjö near Sandviken (350 km NW of Stockholm) in 1933 and now lives in Stockholm. He made his literary debut with a volume of short stories, Tjocka släckten (Close Relations) in 1965, and published his breakthrough novel Uppkomlingarna: en personundersökning (The Upstarts: A Private Investivation) in 1969. Rick McGregor introduces the author's work and presents his translation of an extract from Samma sol som vår (The same sun as ours, 2000).
Europe versus San Francisco at the Poetry Festival
Barbro S Osher
In April this year a meeting of Titans was staged in San Francisco: some of the best European poets met with resident counterparts for a five-day festival dedicated to contemporary poetry in all its facets, languages and voices. Barbro S Osher reports in detail on the festival.
pointer.gif (116 bytes) Barbro S Osher, Europe versus San Francisco at the Poetry Festival
Johanna Ekström
transl. Sarah Death
We present a selection of Johanna Ekström's poems that were translated for the San Francisco Festival, by kind permission of the author and translator. The poems are taken from a collection entitled En annan åder (Another Vein), which has not yet been published.
Sweden in English
Tom Geddes
This is Tom Geddes' running bibliography of Swedish books published in English translation, and books about Sweden in English. The Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Fiction for Children and Adolescents sections can now be searched online (see the Sweden in English box on the right hand side of every page on this site).