This story is a part of a new collection exploring the world by means of books. We’ve requested a few of our favourite writers to advocate studying that helps you get to know their cities and recommendations on literary landmarks to take a look at. We’ll be touring the world with them for the following few months, from Madrid to Mexico Metropolis to Istanbul and past. Join the Books e-newsletter to be sure you don’t miss any stops!
To start with, allow us to make it clear to everybody who has learn our books that Stockholm is a really secure metropolis, often fully with out serial killers. However our capital will not be innocent — no less than not in literature.
Authors have written in regards to the mild of snow and the winter darkness within the alleys, the melancholy of the brief summer time and the disappointment of the autumn. Due to crime writers from Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö and past, there’s in all probability not a road or park within the metropolis the place a fictitious homicide has not been dedicated (and we acknowledge our intensive contribution).
Stockholm is located within the passage between considered one of Sweden’s largest lakes and the Baltic Sea and has been settled because the Ice Age. The Riddarholmen Church, from the thirteenth century, is the oldest fully preserved constructing right here. It’s surrounded by medieval buildings, which in flip are surrounded by lovely homes and theaters from the nineteenth century.
Though Stockholm is likely one of the most trendy cities on this planet (for instance, we don’t use money), the previous is all the time current. We stay on Oden Avenue. Close to us, within the sq. subsequent to the Royal Palace, the Stockholm Massacre passed off in 1520, when about 100 aristocrats have been executed. The superb warship Vasa, which sank after touring simply 1,400 yards on her maiden voyage in 1628, might be seen intact on the Royal Nationwide Metropolis Park. The well-preserved metropolis of Birka, a Viking-age buying and selling middle, may be very shut by, and plenty of gods from Previous Norse mythology, reminiscent of Thor, are buried — in line with custom — within the close by metropolis of Uppsala.
Authors have all the time been drawn to this metropolis, which is the house of Sweden’s main publishers, the Nobel Prize and the Royal Dramatic Theater. That is the place artists collect; the place music is created; the place movie productions with Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman and Ingmar Bergman took off as soon as upon a time; and the place David Fincher shot the American model of “The Woman With the Dragon Tattoo.”
What ought to I learn earlier than I pack my luggage?
If you will get your palms on “Fredman’s Epistles and Songs” you’ll get a glance straight into the Swedish soul, if there’s such a factor. The writer, Carl Michael Bellman, is our personal burlesque, tragic, poetic model of Shakespeare.
One other warm-up studying tip is a novel by Selma Lagerlöf, the primary lady to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1909: “Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness,” a ghost story a few very unhealthy man who dies on New 12 months’s Eve. He’s the final individual to die that yr, and is doomed to hold the souls of the lifeless in his cart till he finds forgiveness and tries to fix what he has damaged.
What books or authors ought to I deliver together with me?
“Physician Glas,” by Hjalmar Söderberg, is an iconic learn — a traditional guide that’s related for brand new generations of readers time and again, with its cocktail of perversions, oppression of sexuality, homicide and melancholy within the metropolis of Stockholm. You’ll be able to even take an “audio stroll” of “Physician Glas ” if you arrive, the place you take heed to the guide on the precise locations which can be described in it.
If I’ve no time for day journeys, what books can take me there as an alternative?
The superb archipelago of Stockholm, with all its islands, seashores, cliffs, eating places and sailboats, is actually price no less than a day. In Sweden we have now what we name the everyman’ s proper, which is most of the people’s entry to wilderness, whether or not it’s public or privately owned land, granted by our structure. Chances are you’ll camp and fish nearly wherever you need.
However in case you don’t have the time, learn “Harbor” by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the writer of “Let the Proper One In” and our personal Swedish Stephen King. “Harbor” is about within the archipelago and has all the nice elements you want for a horror story.
What audiobook would make for good firm whereas I stroll round?
Why not a guide by the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer? He gained the Nobel Prize in 2011 and is taken into account a contemporary icon. His poetry appears easy, however it opens doorways to the enigma that life is.
Who’re the literary icons I would see named on road indicators, statues or public monuments?
August Strindberg’s ghost walks the streets of Stockholm. There’s a large statue of the misogynistic, hateful, legendary however sensible writer, who wrote the novel “The Pink Room” and the naturalistic play “Miss Julie,” within the Tegnérlunden park, and his phrases are quoted on the asphalt of Drottninggatan, the road the place he lived over the past years of his life in a constructing referred to as the Blue Tower. In the event you can, it’s best to go to: Standing there Strindberg’s desk, together with his pens, papers and books, offers writers a sure acquainted feeling of self-discipline, desires and isolation.
What literary pilgrimage vacation spot — an writer’s house or favored ingesting gap, an unbelievable bookstore, an actual web site of fictional inspiration — would you advocate?
The Nobel Prize banquet is held yearly at Stockholm Metropolis Corridor, a lovely constructing by the water in the midst of the town. Within the cellar of the restaurant Stadshuskällaren you possibly can attempt any of the dinners that have been served at previous banquets since 1901. Possibly you’d wish to attempt the dinner served when Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954: smoked trout with cream-stewed spinach; beef tenderloin with artichokes, truffles and mushrooms; and pear with pistachio ice cream and chocolate sauce. Simply bear in mind to guide your go to prematurely.
On Dalagatan, a road in our a part of the city, you possibly can go to the common-or-garden residence of Astrid Lindgren, who wrote “Pippi Longstocking” and plenty of different legendary youngsters’s books.
The Nationwide Library has constructed an area deep beneath the bottom that’s an actual copy of the house of the poet Nelly Sachs, who gained the Nobel Prize in 1966. Visiting her “cabin” — an completely small place the place she sat and wrote within the darkness, making an attempt to not disturb her sick mom — may be very shifting and surprisingly chilling.
What’s an excellent place to curve up with a guide?
The Home of Tradition is a modernist assembly place in the midst of the town with artwork exhibitions, cafes and eating places, theater, music and a global writers’ scene that has drawn authors reminiscent of Jonathan Franzen, Richard Ford, Margaret Atwood, Susan Faludi, Emma Cline, Philip Pullman, Hilary Mantel, Paul Auster, John Irving, Joyce Carol Oates and Dennis Lehane. It’s, in a method, a socialistic imaginative and prescient of how tradition doesn’t want grand salons or bourgeois interiors, and is the results of a need to deliver tradition to the place staff and households move by on daily basis. Anybody can stroll in, curl up with a guide, have a espresso, play some chess or go to an exhibition.
Lars Kepler is the pen title of Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. Their crime fiction Joona Linna collection, which incorporates novels reminiscent of “The Sandman” and “The Rabbit Hunter,” has been translated into 40 languages.