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Mikael Persbrandt – a revealing biography hits the shelves

13 November 2017

Mikael Persbrandt has been swamped with offers to write an autobiography. Numerous publishers, journalists and authors have long dreamed of publishing the story of the celebrated, talented and scandal-beset actor.

With great generosity, eloquence and courage Mikael Persbrandt finally shares his story of life’s endless struggle. Not only a literary work of finest quality, Mikael Persbrandt is the personal account of someone that many mistakenly believe they know quite well. Now, he tells it from his perspective, and it is one we all can learn from.

Mikael Persbrandt’s memoar, penned by Carl-Johan Vallgren in collaboration with Mikael Persbrandt, was published 10 November 2017 by Albert Bonniers.

 “To hold your life between your fingertips in the form of a manuscript is a peculiar experience; solemn yet necessary. Although I regret nothing, many tears have been shed.” Mikael Persbrandt

On May 10th 2016 Hedlund Agency invited Mikael Persbrandt to breakfast on Södermalm and introduced him to Carl-Johan Vallgren. August Prize winner (The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot, 2002), bestseller and published in 25 languages, Carl-Johan is not only one of Sweden’s foremost authors, but also a down-to-earth, hard-knock-educated man with the rare characteristic of possessing both panache and humility. Two extraordinarily gifted individuals came together and something clicked. Mutual respect arose.

In September 2016, after Mikael and Carl-Johan had met a few times, two chapters were delivered. At Hedlund Agency, we read and realized this would be big. Carl-Johan had captured Mikael’s voice. We approached Abbe Bonnier (Bonnier’s nonfiction publisher-at-large), proposed a meeting, and saw him the very next day. After a review of the chapters, the book immediately found a home at Albert Bonniers Publishing House. Now, one year and approximately one hundred hours of interviews later, Hedlund Agency and Albert Bonniers are proud to present the Mikael Persbrandt’s biography, written by Carl-Johan Vallgren, in collaboration with Mikael Persbrandt.

A revealing tale

The book opens in Nepal in the spring of 2016, during a UNICEF assignment to which Mikael had brought along his young son. It’s evening and Mikael is observing his sleeping child; a moment of serenity:

And so my life flashed before my eyes: my childhood in Jakobsberg, the symbiotic relationship to my mother, my teenage years, early adulthood, the long journey to theater and film. And then, when I had reached the summit: the heavy fall.

Once upon a time I had asked UNICEF to send me to war zones – perhaps because I yearned to see some kind of reflection of myself. But that yearning had passed. I had come to peace with myself. And, ultimately, I didn’t regret much. True, I had caused misery and disasters, but I had also experienced things that most people couldn’t even dream of. If nothing else, I wouldn’t die curious.

I thought a lot about the concept of regret during those nights in the foothills of the Himalayas. What purpose did it serve? If I couldn’t forgive myself, what point was there in others forgiving me? I couldn’t make my life undone.

All I could hope for was that one day, my story would help others. For life, itself, I couldn’t undo.

Mikael Persbrandt



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 Television (SVT). She has published the books: “Smärtpunkten” (2009), “Och i Wienerwald står träden kvar” (2011), and “1947” (2016). Elisabeth Åsbrink is also active as a dramatist and has written the dramatic works, “Räls”, “Pojken och det sjungande trädet”, “Dr Alzheimer” and “Perkins”.

A large part of Elisabeth Åsbrink’s journalism and authorship focuses on human rights, democracy, and tolerance. She also participates extensively in social debate, and has been the Chairperson of Swedish PEN since 2017.

Elisabeth Åsbrink is awarded the Prize on the basis of the following:

“With her skilfully formed narratives, non-fiction texts, and drama, Elisabeth Åsbrink has created an echo chamber, in which European post-war conflicts, the consequences of which we are still confronting today, resound across the divide of time, and where the deeply personal becomes accessible and important to us all. For this reason Elisabeth is awarded the Torgny Segerstedt Freedom Pen for 2017.”

Torgny Segerstedt (1876-1945) was a Swedish communicator and religious historian, who above all has been remembered for his courageous and determined struggle against Nazism.


Photo: Eva Tedesjö


Claudia Dantschke Awarded the 2017 Stieg Larsson Prize

27 October 2017

German democracy activist Claudia Dantschke is the recipient of the 2017 Stieg Larsson Prize, for her decades-long work with deradicalization of young people in Islamist environments, and her promotion of more nuanced views on Islam and muslims.

The jury emphasizes Dantschke’s “groundbreaking and successful work with deradicalization of young people in Islamist environments, primarily in Berlin. Through books and articles, Claudia Dantschke actively participates in public debate, and contributes to the training of social workers and other groups concerning how to build relationships with the targeted youths and their families – which is the first, essential step toward leaving radical Islamism.

Claudia Dantshcke is one of Germany’s leading experts on Islamism and Salafism. With a degree in translation and interpretaion from Arabic and French, she worked as a journalist and editor at the East German news agency’s Middle East bureau, and subsequently as a freelance journalist after German reunification, mainly for the German-Turkish independent broadcaster AYPA-TV.

Since 2001 she is a fellow at the Zentrum Demokratische Kultur (ZDK), an organization that advances enlightenment ideas and democratic values. On behalf of ZDK, she has analyzed Islamist and far-right networks in different Berlin districts, with the purpose of developing local strategies for facing and preventing antidemocratic forces. In 2011 she initiated Hayat, Germany’s first consultation center for deradicalization, which offers advice and support to people in Salafist and jihadist environments, as well as to defectors and kin.

Dantschke started researching and challenging antidemocratic forces within political Islam long before our current preoccupation with the issue: already in 2000 she co-authored a treatise on political islam in Europe. In contrast to alarmist or virtue-signaling punditry, her work is characterized by qualified knowledge, rationality and pragmatism – and always solution oriented. A consistent shunning of stereotypes and prejudices, as well as a nuanced and compassionate view of radicalized youths, has awarded Dantschke enemies among far right and Salafist groups alike.

By way of books, articles, lectures and training, she disseminates the knowledge she has collected and the strategies she has developed during many years of applied field work.


About the Stieg Larsson Prize
Steig Larsson, author of the Millennium trilogy, waged a constant struggle against racism and misogyny, and for freedom of expression. The struggle was motivated by a simple idea: that each human being should have the right to be themselves.

In memory of Stieg Larsson, Norstedts Publishing along with Stieg Larsson’s father Erland and brother Joakim, has founded a prize of 200 000 SEK. The prize is awarded to persons or organizations that continue Stieg Larsson’s struggle.

Once a year, an independent jury selects a recipient. This year’s jury consists of publisher Elnaz Baghlanian, Expo Magazine’s editor-in-chief Daniel Poohl, journalist Mathias Ståhle, human rights attorney Johanna Westeson, and publisher Svante Weyler.



Photo copyright: AYPA 2017



Elisabeth Östnäs is awarded the Nils Holgersson Plaquette!

9 October 2017

Elisabeth Östnäs is awarded the 2016 Nils Holgersson Plaquette for The Story of Turid

Established in 1950, the Nils Holgersson Plaquette is awarded annually by the Swedish Library Association to the best children’s or young adult book of the year.

Says the jury:

In The King’s Daughter and its sequels War Time and The Raven Goddess Elisabeth Östnäs has offered a mighty portrait from the Viking age, in which the female protagonist is depicted as warrior, mother, spouse, and oracle.

The readers are introduced to a young woman who must flee from her home. Östnäs skillfully shows what happens to a person who is forced into exile; the timeless search for a home and an identity is represented in a powerful way. The character of Turid is brought to life in a bleak reality with the odds stacked against her but with the strength to find her own path.

The world depicted is a violent one, but the violence is never exploited as entertainment. Pagan rituals and early Christianity are described in an innovative way. Moving and memorable scenes are rendered in sparse prose, providing a suspenseful pace. Elisabeth Östnäs has written three vital novels about the Viking age for all ages.


Millennium 5 on The New York Times Bestseller list

21 September 2017

David Lagercrantz is currently on a long tour for the release of the fifth instalment in the Millennium series, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye. We just learnt that the book will be on second place on the New York Times Bestseller list next week – after only one week on the shelves.

And we won’t stop at that – the reviews keep coming in from all over the world:

“Somewhere beyond the grave in the Great Hereafter, Stieg Larsson must be smiling: Lisbeth Salander, his “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” is still avenging injustice, hacking files, kicking butts and exposing corruption with the help of unlikely partner, investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist.

Swedish journalist and author David Lagercrantz has produced a multilayered and even better thriller this time around in his second outing continuing Larsson’s Millennium series, crafting an intricate web of intrigue that includes a prison gang, Islamist extremists, Salander’s evil twin Camilla and a cruel, top-secret pseudoscientific experiment.”

– The Buffalo News

“In Lagercrantz’s hands, the series is realizing grand ambitions of another sort. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for An Eye intensifies the mythic elements of Larsson’s vision […]moves the series further into the realms of Star Wars and Harry Potter”

– The Washington Post

“Lagercrantz is one of the best in the genre […] keeps building on the foundation laid by Stieg Larsson, with excellent result”

– Svenska Dagbladet

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Rights sold

Swedish rights sold to Natur & Kultur

November 2017

Italian rights sold to Iperborea

November 2017

Czech rights sold to Kniha Zlin

November 2017

Film rights sold to Anagram

October 2017

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