This story is a part of a new collection exploring the world by way of books. We’ve requested a few of our favourite writers to advocate studying that helps you get to know their cities and tips about literary landmarks to take a look at. We’ll be touring the world with them for the subsequent few months, from Madrid to Mexico City to Istanbul and past. Sign up for the Books publication to be sure to don’t miss any stops!
To start with, allow us to make it clear to everybody who has learn our books that Stockholm is a really protected metropolis, normally utterly with out serial killers. But our capital is just not innocent — a minimum of not in literature.
Authors have written concerning the mild of snow and the winter darkness within the alleys, the melancholy of the quick summer season and the unhappiness of the autumn. Thanks to crime writers from Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö and past, there’s in all probability not a road or park within the metropolis the place a fictitious homicide has not been dedicated (and we acknowledge our in depth contribution).
Stockholm is located within the passage between one among Sweden’s largest lakes and the Baltic Sea and has been settled because the Ice Age. The Riddarholmen Church, from the thirteenth century, is the oldest utterly preserved constructing right here. It is surrounded by medieval buildings, which in flip are surrounded by lovely homes and theaters from the nineteenth century.
Although Stockholm is likely one of the most trendy cities on the earth (for instance, we don’t use money), the previous is at all times current. We reside on Oden Street. Near us, within the sq. subsequent to the Royal Palace, the Stockholm Bloodbath came about in 1520, when about 100 aristocrats had been executed. The superb warship Vasa, which sank after touring simply 1,400 yards on her maiden voyage in 1628, may be seen intact on the Royal National City Park. The well-preserved metropolis of Birka, a Viking-age buying and selling middle, may be very shut by, and lots of gods from Old Norse mythology, akin to Thor, are buried — in line with custom — within the close by metropolis of Uppsala.
Authors have at all times been drawn to this metropolis, which is the house of Sweden’s main publishers, the Nobel Prize and the Royal Dramatic Theater. This is the place artists collect; the place music is created; the place movie productions with Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman and Ingmar Bergman took off as soon as upon a time; and the place David Fincher shot the American model of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
What ought to I learn earlier than I pack my baggage?
If you will get your arms on “Fredman’s Epistles and Songs” you’re going to get a glance straight into the Swedish soul, if there’s such a factor. The creator, Carl Michael Bellman, is our personal burlesque, tragic, poetic model of Shakespeare.
Another warm-up studying tip is a novel by Selma Lagerlöf, the primary girl to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1909: “Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness,” a ghost story a few very dangerous man who dies on New Year’s Eve. He is the final individual to die that 12 months, and is doomed to hold the souls of the useless in his cart till he finds forgiveness and tries to fix what he has damaged.
What books or authors ought to I convey together with me?
“Doctor Glas,” by Hjalmar Söderberg, is an iconic learn — a traditional ebook that’s related for brand spanking new generations of readers repeatedly, with its cocktail of perversions, oppression of sexuality, homicide and melancholy within the metropolis of Stockholm. You may even take an “audio walk” of “Doctor Glas ” once you arrive, the place you take heed to the ebook on the precise locations which might be described in it.
If I’ve no time for day journeys, what books can take me there as a substitute?
The superb archipelago of Stockholm, with all its islands, seashores, cliffs, eating places and sailboats, is absolutely price a minimum of a day. In Sweden now we have what we name the everyman’ s proper, which is most people’s entry to wilderness, whether or not it’s public or privately owned land, granted by our structure. You might camp and fish nearly wherever you need.
But when you don’t have the time, learn “Harbor” by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the creator of “Let the Right One In” and our personal Swedish Stephen King. “Harbor” is ready within the archipelago and has all the nice substances you want for a horror story.
What audiobook would make for good firm whereas I stroll round?
Why not a ebook by the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer? He received the Nobel Prize in 2011 and is taken into account a contemporary icon. His poetry appears easy, nevertheless it opens doorways to the enigma that life is.
Who are the literary icons I would see named on road indicators, statues or public monuments?
August Strindberg’s ghost walks the streets of Stockholm. There is a huge statue of the misogynistic, hateful, legendary however sensible creator, who wrote the novel “The Red Room” and the naturalistic play “Miss Julie,” within the Tegnérlunden park, and his phrases are quoted on the asphalt of Drottninggatan, the road the place he lived over the last years of his life in a constructing generally known as the Blue Tower. If you possibly can, you need to go to: Standing there Strindberg’s desk, along with his pens, papers and books, provides writers a sure acquainted feeling of self-discipline, goals and isolation.
What literary pilgrimage vacation spot — an creator’s dwelling or favored consuming gap, an unbelievable bookstore, an actual web site of fictional inspiration — would you advocate?
The Nobel Prize banquet is held yearly at Stockholm City Hall, a stupendous constructing by the water in the midst of the town. In the cellar of the restaurant Stadshuskällaren you possibly can attempt any of the dinners that had been served at previous banquets since 1901. Maybe you’d wish to attempt the dinner served when Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954: smoked trout with cream-stewed spinach; beef tenderloin with artichokes, truffles and mushrooms; and pear with pistachio ice cream and chocolate sauce. Just bear in mind to ebook your go to prematurely.
On Dalagatan, a road in our a part of the city, you possibly can go to the standard house of Astrid Lindgren, who wrote “Pippi Longstocking” and lots of different legendary youngsters’s books.
The National Library has constructed an area deep beneath the bottom that’s a precise copy of the house of the poet Nelly Sachs, who received the Nobel Prize in 1966. Visiting her “cabin” — an completely small place the place she sat and wrote within the darkness, making an attempt to not disturb her sick mom — may be very shifting and unusually chilling.
What’s a very good place to twist up with a ebook?
The House of Culture is a modernist assembly place in the midst of the town with artwork exhibitions, cafes and eating places, theater, music and a world writers’ scene that has drawn authors akin to Jonathan Franzen, Richard Ford, Margaret Atwood, Susan Faludi, Emma Cline, Philip Pullman, Hilary Mantel, Paul Auster, John Irving, Joyce Carol Oates and Dennis Lehane. It is, in a approach, a socialistic imaginative and prescient of how tradition doesn’t want grand salons or bourgeois interiors, and is the results of a need to convey tradition to the place staff and households move by day-after-day. Anyone can stroll in, curl up with a ebook, have a espresso, play some chess or go to an exhibition.
Lars Kepler is the pen identify of Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. Their crime fiction Joona Linna collection, which incorporates novels akin to “The Sandman” and “The Rabbit Hunter,” has been translated into 40 languages.