Svea’s Son – the much-anticipated novel from bestselling and award-winning Lena Andersson
Svea’s Son is a generational novel by the bestselling and award-winning author Lena Andersson. A Man Called Ove meets modernity in this razor-sharp comedic rendering of the progress and ruin of the industrial welfare state. A much-anticipated novel by one of our time’s most perceptive chroniclers of society. After more than 500 000 copies sold of her previous works, August Prize recipient Lena Andersson is finally back.
Ragnar Johansson is born during the height of the Swedish Middle Way. He is a man completely without cracks, yet with a great, defining split. Despite considerable talent, he refrained from pursuing a cabinetmaking career, opting instead for the sheltered life of a wood workshop teacher. Whether this path was the result of piousness or cowardice remains unclear.
His mother, Svea Svensson, was raised in a different era, in which nothing came without a cost and everyday presented a struggle. Foodstuffs were handled with great care and thrift. Ragnar despises her hearty cooking, preferring instead the rational and practical concept of processed foods. Expertly calculated nutritional value that satisfies your appetite, tastes delicious and liberates women from kitchen drudgery. Ragnar Johansson has no doubt which values he should live by, but he is also profoundly contemplative – and therefore not entirely happy.
Svea’s Son is a tender, funny and forgiving portrait of the wood workshop teacher Ragnar Johansson. A child of industrial modernity, who we all know all too well.
“…what unites the two Esther novels and Svea’s Son is the issue of being true to oneself, of daring to and being able to. And what this modern possibility of truth – we might call it self-realization – demands to become possible. A society with a strong state? Trust? Inner stature? … This spring, the author Lena Andersson is travelling around as if on her own campaign trail, talking about the book. It is sure to cause interesting discussions – this is a novel that calls out to a collective readership.
“This is what makes Lena Andersson a great novelist: time and again, her characters defiantly find a mirror in which they begin speaking in the author’s own voice, from a powerful inner urge.”
“It is gripping – and wonderfully contradictory – how Ragnar in time finds solace and pleasure in consenting to the ‘idea that you are what you say and feel that you are, and that everything is subjective and relative’. And in the end, Ragnar paints flowers on his geometric woodwork.”
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