siri. Lena Einhorn



AUTHOR: Lena Einhorn

ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Norstedts förlag

GENRE: 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.

Rights sold

Estonian rights sold to Eesti Raamat.



"Nina's journey sucks the reader into the story from the first syllable."


"It is a page-turner. It is remarkable that she can also write so well.
She writes in a very thrilling way. And simply. And very profoundly."

Culture, Sveriges Radio (on the book and movie)

"An absolutely spellbinding book … Few books have filled me with such
unconditional admiration as this one. I feel joyful and strengthened at
having met Nina, and I wish many, many more will do so."

Skånska Dagbladet

"I can not put it down, I want to know how it goes. This is a very
important book to read, so that we should never forget and so that
future generations should know and not be able to forget."


"Stories of intuition and resourcefulness. And of courage. .. About the
mechanisms of repression … And the craftiness of pure evil. …Nina and
Lena Einhorn’s laconic prose. Never raising their voices. And so you
hear it the better."


"How many testimones like Lena Einhorn’s story about her mother Nina are needed to really convince the doubters?"


"Rarely if ever – perhaps with the exception of Viktor Klemperers diaries
from the war years — have I read such a clear and vivid story of
surviving balancing between the haphazard choices that characterized
life in the ghetto, and keeping a panting life flame of hope alive in a
descending darkness. …It is the small details that give this story its
hypnotic force and I am forever grateful to Lena Einhorn that she
created this monument to her own mother."

Helsingborgs Dagblad