A voice for newcomers in Sweden

Ask the author: The story behind a magical mystery in northern Sweden

Cecilia Ekbäck is the author of Wolf Winter. Photo: Private

Published: 20.Sep.2019 09:41 hrs

The Local Sweden's Book Club has been reading Wolf Winter, a historical thriller set in Lapland in 1717. Author Cecilia Ekbäck tells us how interviews with her grandmother helped her shape the novel.

Do you prefer to write in Swedish or English, and why did you choose to write your first novel in English?

I left Sweden when I was 20 years old, so my Swedish is still that of a young adult in the 1990s. It has taken me a long time to be able to write in English, but now it is easier for me to write in English than Swedish. I still make a lot of grammatical errors and find that some Swedish expressions do not translate well. Sometimes I use them nevertheless, and poorly translated, because they demonstrate a way of thinking or they impart a wisdom. I chose to write in English for my first novel for I was attending Royal Holloway's Master in Creative Writing at the time in London, UK.

Since the birth of my daughters I use Swedish much more as I speak to them in Swedish. It used to be that I thought in a different language depending on the topic, but now I find my mind is fully Swedish. I worry about what this will do to my writing.

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