13 nov 2017

Mikael Persbrandt – a revealing biography hits the shelves

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