Collected WorksLydia Sandgren
Winner of the August Prize 2020 and sold in over 100 000 copies in Sweden alone! A sensational literary debut ten years in the making by literary star Lydia Sandgren.
Martin Berg, owner of a small, ailing publishing house, is tumbling into a life crisis. Several years ago, Martin’s wife, Cecilia Berg, disappeared from his and their children’s lives, leaving a huge void behind. Now, in middle-age, looking back on his life he can only see the sliding doors; what could have been. He wonders what would make up his collected works over his life: his close friendship with the unique and immensely more remarkable artist Gustav Becker, his passionate love for his now-missing wife, his two children and, not in the least, the half-finished manuscript that seems to mock him and his youthful dreams.
Simultaneously we meet Rakel, Martin’s twenty-something daughter, who is feeling out of place and restless in Gothenburg. The city is preparing for a retrospective of celebrated painter and family friend Gustav Becker’s work, and wherever she turns she looks into her mysteriously disappeared mother’s eyes, plastered on billboards everywhere – the enigmatic Cecilia, the muse of the brilliant artist. When Rakel finds a possible clue to her mother’s fate, her world tilts on its axis.
COLLECTED WORKS is a literary sensation, written with a rare confidence by debut author Lydia Sandgren; a story about enduring love, the constant presence of the absent, friendships that last a lifetime and art in the borderland of truth and fiction. With as much precision and power in the depictions of the contemporary as in the retrospective, COLLECTED WORKS is a family saga of several generations from a new star of Swedish literary fiction.
“Neat as in a perfectly composed pop song – catchy, bombastic, irresistable…What’s left to say, therefore, is just that we hope that it doesn’t take another ten years for Sandgren to write her next book”
‘Lydia Sandgren is a debut author, but she writes this novel as if she’s done nothing else for decades.…’
’It makes me ecstatic that literature can be this too: a doorstopper of narrative joy, cultivation and linguistic delight.’
‘The Hottest Debut of The Year! If Klas Östergren and Donna Tartt had had a love child, who grew up in Gothenburg and became an author, well, there you have Lydia Sandgren.
Croatian: Ocean More
English (UK+Commonwealth): Pushkin Press
English (US): Astra House
Lithuanian: Alma Littera
Serbian: Treci Trg
Spanish: Tres Hermanas