Faculty of Dreams Sara Stridsberg

The Faculty of Dreams

ORIGINAL TITLE: Drömfakulteten

AUTHOR: Sara Stridsberg

ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Albert Bonniers förlag

GENRE: Fiction

The narrative in The Faculty of Dreams revolves around Valerie Solanas, the sixties icon famous for writing the ultra-feminist manifesto SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) and who later shot and seriously injured Andy Warhol.

In the novel’s fictious background story, the author visits Valerie Solanas at the end of her life in the hotel in a red-light district in San Fransisco where Solanas was residing when she died in April 1988. Sara Stridsberg mixes documentary material and free fiction in a feverishly vibrant prose which finds Valerie Solanas permanently on the verge of disaster, a prodigy who simultaneously mirrors and distorts the stories that constitute her world.

Reviews

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"An extraordinary love letter to a radical feminist . . . Valerie is one of the most genuinely insubordinate books I have read, and one of the most beautiful."

"Valerie, titled, The Faculty of Dreams in Europe, won the Nordic Council Literature prize, and was voted the best Swedish novel of the decade by a panel of the country's literati. The book earns its laurels . . . Stridsberg infuses her protagonist with epic, tragic brilliance . . . As Valerie's life unfolds in a blur of expectations and disappointment--predatory men, particularly, lurk at every stage of the story--her anarchism is humanized, without losing its teeth. Valerie is dangerous, and the text's flights of anger and illogic preserve that spikiness . . . Interweaving theory-speak with the more private music of Valerie's mind, Stridsberg finds a fresh expression of the truism that the personal is political.

"One finishes this novel feeling taken by Valerie, but, even more, moved by the author's love for her, the generosity that allows a potentially pathetic figure to become heroic, a guardian spirit. In dreams, impossibilities don't register as such. The political utopianism of Solanas was one kind of dream. Stridsberg's book is another."

Katy Waldman, The New Yorker

“Inventive and stimulating . . . As each new piece of Stridsberg’s portrait of Valerie is added, it alters the big picture, provocatively. The novel is as much about how little one can understand other people as it is about Valerie’s life. Stridsberg entertainingly casts new light on both Solanas and on how society views pop culture.”

Publishers Weekly

"A punk rock myth . . . Valerie paints its troubled protagonist as a feminist hero, thumbing her nose at the law, celebrity, the medical establishment, and more."

Maggie Taft, Booklist  

“The thrilling spectacle, the muscles and bone, of a vibrant, living text . . . This novel of rare strength unleashes an irresistible seduction.”

Le Monde (France) 

“Affectionate and incisive, compassionate and courageous.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland)

“Brilliant, multi-layered, thrilling . . . a burning love letter with icy observation at its core.”

Svenska Dagbladet

“With [Valerie], Stridsberg proved that she is among the finest authors of contemporary Nordic literature.”

Aftenposten 

“Stridsberg's evocation of Valerie Solanas conjures images that are poetic and enchanting.”

Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)

“Stridsberg's language is brilliant; feverish yet clear. The depiction of the milieus of American workers, academics and artists from the 1940s to the 1980s is superb, but at the centre is the tender yet razor-sharp insight into the mind of a limitlessly fascinating individual.”

Deutschland Radio Kultur (Germany)

“Impressive and bewitching, [Valerie] is unquestionably one of the revelations of the publishing season.”

Le Nouveau Magazine Littéraire (France)

“At once a hagiography, an exercise in admiration, and a portrait of a marginal America, this passionate novel reveals the fate of the woman who wanted to shoot Andy Warhol.”

Lire (France)

“Urgent and poetic . . . fascinating literature.”

Bayerischer Rundfunk (Germany)

“Stridsberg excels in mixing documented facts with a liberated fiction in a feverish, vibrant prose.”

Nordic Council Award

“As each new piece of Stridsberg’s portrait of Valerie is added, it alters the big picture, provocatively. The novel is as much about how little one can understand other people as it is about Valerie’s life. Stridsberg entertainingly casts new light on both Solanas and on how society views pop culture.”

Publishers Weekly

“Sara Stridsberg’s The Faculty of Dreams was awarded the prestigious prize of the Nordic Council, and rightly so. The prize is often given to literature that creates something daring, and the Swedish author, who also writes for the theater, has risked a lot. ... Maybe Sara Stridsberg is a Strindberg for our time.”

WDR 3

“The most vulgar slang is paired with lyrical sensitivity to a strong literary rhythmic drive, that gives this life spiraling downward a harrowing verbal framework.”

zitty

“Opening this book, the reader rips opens its very skin. Like it or not, you will see the thrilling spectacle, the muscles and bone, of a vibrant, living text.”
" This text of rare strength unleashes an irresistibile seduction. "

Le Monde

“Impressive and bewitching, THE FACULTY OF DREAMS is unquestionably one of the revelations of the publishing season.”

Le Magazine littéraire

“This narrative draws you into a quasi-animal rhythm. Each line could be an epigraph, like the one that closes the book: ‘The women knew instinctively that the only evil lies in harming others and that the meaning of life is love.’ This book is truly astonishing.”

Véronique Ovaldé

“This book is not for everyone. The heroine, Valerie Solanas, really lived. This woman of incredible charisma worked as a prostitute, dreamed of love, demanded every kind of liberty, and wanted to be one of the great American intellectuals. Unforgettable.”

Librairie L’arbre à lettres Mouffetard

Endorsements

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“This is a brilliant re-imagining of the life and times of one of America’s great cultural icons. If Solanas was alive I’m sure she’d be amazed (and perhaps even gratified) to see what poetic feeling her remarkable destiny has aroused.”

Vivian Gornick, author of The Odd Woman and the City

“Sara Stridsberg’s fantasy about the life of Valerie Solanas has attained the status of myth. We can finally read that novel—a cross between Franz Kafka’s Amerika and Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis—in this powerful, poetic translation. Stridsberg conjures up the loneliness and desire of Valerie, our Valerie—shit-stirrer, tormented genius, cast-off misfit—as well as the vertigo, passion, and complexity of a whole life beyond and through the sensationalized headlines, the caricature. Stridsberg’s intensity and love in writing Valerie’s life is something of its own manifesto.”

Kate Zambreno, author of Heroines

“In Valerie, Sara Stridsberg has given us a wild ride through the haunted house of an infamous woman's memory, experience, and embodiment. A love-letter to the deep insanity of peak twentieth-century America, and testament to a life lived in its margins.”

Elisa Albert, author of After Birth

Rights sold

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Danish rights sold to C&K

Dutch rights sold to de Geus

Finnish Rights sold to Tammi

French rights sold to Stock

German rights sold to S. Fischer

Hungarian Rights sold to Metropolis Media Group

Norwegian rights sold to Aschehoug

Norwegian rights sold to Aschehoug

Polish rights sold to WAB

Portuguese Rights sold to Bertrand

Romainian rights sold to RAO DISTRIBUTIE

Serbian rights sold to Beograd

Spanish rights sold to 451 Editores

UK rights sold to MacLehose Press

US rights sold to Farrar, Straus & Giroux

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