Ten Swedish books to read before you die
8 Feb 2013, 14:20
Published: 08 Feb 2013 14:20 GMT+01:00
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That's what journalist Gerty Fylking used to yell at the Swedish Academy press conference revealing that year's winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Because usually, no one had ever heard of the winner.
That changed two years ago when Sweden's favourite poet, Tomas Tranströmer, was recognized for his work.
Tranströmer's just one of the authors featured on The Local's list of Swedish classics that could be a helping hand for newcomers interested in diving into Swedish culture.
But he's not the only Nobel laureate who made the cut.
The list also features another poet, Edith Södergran, who may be a native of Finland, but is included as because she was a member of of the Finland-Swedish minority in Finland and thus wrote in Swedish.
The list also features the work of a popular, outspoken Swedish historian who often appears on television and in newspapers to offer his two cents (er, öre) about the Swedish royals.
While this celebrity historian's book is far from a work of classic literature, The Local's Editor David Landes recommends it as a good introduction to the history of Sweden.
One book on the list, Harry Martinsson's When Nettles Bloom, is not available in English, but there is a simplified Swedish edition.
And there is a cheeky double whammy for one author.