siri. Lena Einhorn
Original title: Siri
Author: Lena Einhorn
Original publication: Norstedts förlag
Genre: General Fiction

“Mama, I am not made for a quiet home with the smell of roses! I need battles to be happy!”

Those are the words Baroness Siri von Essen expresses, one year after meeting the author August Strindberg, when she tells her horrified mother about her sudden break-up from husband and children and everything common convention demands. Siri wants to become an actress, it has always been her burning passion, ever since she was a little child. But as a baroness, and particularly one married to a captain of the guards, she can of course under no circumstances enter the stage.

Siri von Essen really does leave everything behind in order to lead her new marriage and life with August Strindberg. She is welcomed into the circle of authors, artists and actors around Strindberg, and manages, despite the social conventions to, establish an acting career within the national royal theatre, Dramaten. 
But she never receives her mother’s blessing. And as far as ‘battles’ are concerned, Siri would soon have more than she could reasonably have wished for.

Lena Einhorn describes a strong woman with an appetite for life, a woman who dares to break with the social rules of her time, and especially those of her own class.

Siri von Essen’s marriage to August Strindberg will eventually be her misfortune and her friend Marie David has an important role in bringing the relationship to an end. The novel follows two parallel time-levels: one describing the couple’s rising passion, the other the heart-rending divorce.


“Einhorn can really tell a story. It is a fascinating read, from the first page to the last.”

Uppsala Nya Tidning

“Beneath the controlled prose are glimpses of a slightly furious poetry, formulations as sharp as knives” /…/ “Nevertheless, the novel about  Siri von Essen is so gripping and well written that I want to bang my
fist on the table. From happiness of course. Particularly because of the craft. It is so solid that you don’t care one iota if there are events that might have been interpreted one way or the other, and might have
been fabricated. It’s that thing about poetic license, the author’s right of interpretation taking precedence.”

Helsingborgs Dagblad

“It is an extremely interesting personality portrayed by an author who  has almost everything one could wish for. Lena Einhorn blows life and soul into her characters, she manages to make her settings real, wind, smell and atmosphere. She not only grabs hold of her reader, she changes his life, thoughts and person. It is big, I don’t know anyone in this land who is bigger.”

DAST Magazine

Einhorn recreates this well-known drama in a fashion that, despite the tragedy, makes one utterly elated. The elegance of the language is not unlike Strindberg’s… Einhorn gives new life and perspective to these twotemperaments, stretched to the breaking-point. We know the story, but she is in complete control of her psychological interpretation, as she is of her reader.”

Nya Wermlands-Tidningen


Estonian rights sold to Eesti Raamat.


Alice Stenberg
Phone: +46 70-823 12 35