Elisabeth Åsbrink is a writer and  journalist and President of Swedish PEN, based in Stockholm and Copenhagen.

She has been nominated for the August Prize three times and did win it for best non-fiction book 2011 for And in Wienerwald the trees are still standing. For the same book she was awarded the prestigious Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage in 2013, with the following motivation:

”Through an intimate story about a Jewish boy trying to escape extermination and looking for shelter in Sweden, Elisabeth Åsbrink tells a universal story. Story of people who, while convinced of their own virtue and responsibility, may contribute to a crime. By bringing back Europe’s very recent and very ignominious past, the author awakens readers’ sensitivity to a drama taking place before our very eyes; the drama of refugees in contemporary world.”

1947 is her third book and it was published simultaneously in Sweden, Denmark and Norway in the autumn of 2016 with many more countries following in 2017 and 2018. The rave reviews speaks of a “powerful and enormously moving new book”, “a gripping history” and that “Elisabeth Åsbrink writes sentences that make one gasp in admiration.”



2010 Jarl Alfredius minnesstipendium

2013 The August Prize for best Non fiction

2013 Dansk-svensk Kulturfonds kulturpris

2013 Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage

2016 Letterstedtska författarpriset

2017 Freedom Pen Prize (Torgny Segerstedt Foundation)



Facebook: Elisabeth Åsbrink



Magdalena Hedlund
Phone: +46 70-669 05 68


Read Elisabeth Åsbrink in The Guardian:

16 May 2019

"The Swedish dream was always too good to be true. And now the far right is back!" Elisabeth Åsbrink


1947 chosen as one of the best books of 2018

6 December 2018

Elisabeth Åsbrink's 1947, Where now begins has been chosen as one of the best books of the year 2018 by American NPR (National Public Radio). From Nancy Pearls review: "It's just one of those books that makes you want to major in history. It is one of the best books, certainly the best nonfiction book, that I've read recently. I think the subtitle, Where Now Begins, really speaks to one...


Rave reviews for US edition of 1947

5 April 2018

We are receiving the most wonderful reviews for the US edition of Elisabeth Åsbrink's 1947. Where now begins. How about the following quotes: “The Swedish journalist Åsbrink’s “1947” is an extraordinary achievement. [...] Åsbrink is throughout attentive to the complex dynamic produced by the Holocaust’s multiple aftermaths, the urgently necessary and terrifyingly confusing process of decolonization and the consolidation of the Soviet bloc. Her constant intercutting of the world-shaking with the...


1947 – best non-fiction of 2017!

14 December 2017

Elisabeth Åsbrink's 1947 has been picked as one of the best non-fiction titles published in the UK in 2017 by daily newspaper Metro. Anthony Cummins writes: "From Sweden comes this globe-trotting factual narrative tracing the poisonous fallout from World War II with novelistic flair. With a reporter’s nose for detail and a crime writer’s sense of pace, Åsbrink’s account revisits contemporary hotspots from post-Raj India to British-ruled Palestine while tracking...


2017 Freedom Pen to Elisabeth Åsbrink

2 November 2017

Elisabeth Åsbrink has been awarded the 2017 Freedom Pen Prize by the Torgny Segerstedt Foundation. Since its establishment in 1996, the Torgny Segerstedt Foundation has annually awarded The Freedom Pen to a communicator working in the spirit of Torgny Segerstedt. Earlier recipients of the prize include Astrid Lindgren, Eva Moberg and Tom Alandh. Elisabeth Åsbrink is an author and journalist with a background as a reporter and editor at Sveriges...