Selma LagerlöfThe Tale of a Modern WomanAnna Nordlund, Bengt Wanselius
A definitive life and letters biography of Selma Lagerlöf in words and images, with photographer Bengt Wanselius as picture editor. Selma Lagerlöf – The Tale of a Modern Woman is an academically meticulous biography based on a rich array of source material, combined with stimulating writing and in-depth insights into the fascinating writings of Selma Lagerlöf. The book portrays not just a prominent author, but also the birth of modern Sweden, in which Selma Lagerlöf played a key role. She campaigned for female suffrage and chose to live in romantic relationships with whomever she pleased, regardless of the conventions of the time. She bought into a film company and soon became a dominating force in the Swedish film industry. For the first time, this book casts light on how her international successes also involved a precarious balancing act, not least when it came to Germany under Hitler. Selma Lagerlöf was always on the front line – the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature and the first to be admitted into the Swedish Academy, as well as one of the first Swedish authors to gain international star status.
Anna Nordlund is a senior lecturer in literature studies at Uppsala University, as well as being a world-leading researcher on Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf. She has a background as a journalist and is herself author of a number of books.
‘Nordlund peels back the layers on Lagerlöf’s life and writing in the international context through words and images, painting a broad picture of her context.’
Upsala Nya Tidning
‘Her writing flows throughout, exhibiting an in-depth knowledge of and feel for Lagerlöf and her work. Yet she does so in a manner that avoids uncritical adoration. She refuses to shy away from less flattering, cowardly sides, allowing a person who was elevated to the status of god during her lifetime be human once again.’
Winner of The Publishing Prize 2019 for best non-fiction book.
Winner of De Nio Society’s Lotten Kraemer Award 2019.