Strega

ORIGINAL TITLE: Strega

NUMBER OF PAGES: 200

AUTHOR: Johanne Lykke Holm

ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Albert Bonniers förlag

GENRE: Current Books, Fiction

Along with eight other young women, Rafa arrives at the little alpine resort of Strega to work at the majestic Hotel Olympic. The austere staff teaches them to serve and iron, cook and clean, but the hotel remains deserted. In moments of leisure, they gaze out across the landscape, the hazy mountains, the nunnery. The monotonous work and their isolation ties them close together. It all culminates in a feast, that finally does fill the hotel with people – but after which one of the girls go missing.
“I knew a woman’s life could at any point be turned into a crime scene.”
Johanne Lykke Holm’s novel is filled with atmospheric yet razor sharp descriptions that continues to surprise the reader. It is an enchanting read.

Reviews

OPEN
“The text is a treasure to explore. No one can fail to see its beauty. [...] [Strega is] a shield of 179 pages. And behind it? A slow-acting poison. A spell, a rite of passage, a black diamond.”

Göteborgs-Posten
 
“’I knew that a woman’s life can be turned into a crime scene at any moment,’ explains the protagonist early on in the book, giving the reader an indication of the violence to come. A terrible event, then – but not only. For the female world that Lykke Holm depicts is also remarkable and enchanting, even quite literally. [...] when the maids’ hair spill over the sheets ‘like spilled ink’ I stand defeated, by great beauty and grief.” 
Dagens Nyheter
 
“In short: a beautiful, increasingly suspenseful brew with great semantic variety and European erudition. [...] But read. Surrender. And adapt it to film!”
Expressen
 
“Lykke Holm has written a cinematic novel of destruction that inhabits the borderland between TheVirgin SuicidesThe Grand Budapest HotelSuspiria and Melancholia.
The story is filled with romanticist, esoteric moods that are so sharply portrayed that each and every sentence shines like a jewel in a textual night rich with symbolism.”
Aftonbladet
 
“It is so delightful to read Johanne Lykke Holm, so elegant, so stylish.” 
Borås Tidning

 
“I must surrender, going back to read certain passages aloud to myself.” 

 Swedish Public Radio

Endorsements

OPEN

“STREGA is a startling and powerful book about young women on the cusp of inheriting—and perpetuating—submission to violence and the myths that uphold it, as an inescapable rite of womanhood. Johanne Lykke Holm is a surprising and inventive writer at every turn, and we cannot wait to introduce her to English readers in the US.”

Catalina Trigo
Acquiring Editor
Riverhead

“If you come to the mysterious mountain village of Strega in search of plot-driven convention, you will get lost in the woods. Amidst thick forests bathed in red light and jade-green lakes, every object, every gesture, and every softly spoken word glows with Delphic significance as Rafa and eight other young women are made to wash and iron, cook and make the beds in a grand hotel that remains conspicuously deserted – until it isn’t. With the stylish deception of Alain Resnais and the sensuous evocation of Hildegard of Bingen, STREGA builds like a spell that keeps exerting its powers long after reading. In less than 200 pages, Johanne Lykke Holm has changed what I turn to fiction for.”

Denise Rose Hansen 
Publisher
Lolli Editions

Rights sold

OPEN

Bulgarian rights sold to Perseus Publishing House

Danish Rights sold to Gads Forlag

German Rights sold to AKI/Kampa Verlag

Hungarian Rights sold to Polar Egyesület

Macedonian rights sold to Antolog Books

North American rights sold to Riverhead

Polish Rights sold to Pauza

UK Rights sold to Lolli Editions

World French Rights sold to La Peuplade

News