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Made in Sweden


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About the Author

Elisabeth Asbrink is a journalist and author. Her parents were Hungarian and English, and she was born and raised in, and now lives in, Sweden. Her previous books have won the August Prize, the Danish-Swedish Cultural Fund Prize, and Poland's Kapuscinski Prize. 1947 (the first of her books to be published in English, by Scribe in 2017) won the prestigious Letterstedt Prize, was translated into 19 languages, and was published in the UK, Australia, the USA, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, South Korea, Poland, Denmark, Finland, and Norway, among others. Her latest book is Made in Sweden.


'This quirky inventory of Swedish values explores the shades of grey behind the branding of Sweden as the shiny home of ABBA and Volvo ... But it's not all Bergmanesque gloom. Asbrink also celebrates Swedes' sacred relationship with nature, the achievements of its social reformers and the indefatigable biologist Carl Linnaeus.'

-- Fiona Capp * Sydney Morning Herald *

'This handsome little book surveys the things that have made Sweden the place it is today, from the suffragette who was Jane Austen's "literary soul sister" to the "interesting lie" of Swedish neutrality during World War II.'

* The Weekend West *

'Challenging and stimulating on Swedish words ... In common with Orwell she condemns chauvinism, but leaves room for patriotism, as love for a specific place, or language, matters as such one would not want to force upon others.'

* Goeteborgsposten *

'Elisabeth Asbrink takes us on a brilliant voyage of discovery to the history of ideas in Sweden.'

-- Dagens Nyheter

'Asbrink as ever writes with clarity, sometimes incisive and poignant, and always with a great curiosity ... The chapter on what the Swedes knew or did not know of the Holocaust is one of the most eloquent literary executions of Jan Guillou that has ever been written, this on his quite recent assertion that the Swedes did not hear of the genocide until after 1945.'

* Expressen *

'Asbrink's book is a singular achievement. It reveals more about the Swedes than it does Sweden. More on values, more on language and the world of ideas than on dates, or regencies and their length. The line of thought is unrestrained, leaping between different eras as it stumbles across parallels, the broad strokes of narrative freely punctuated with anachronism and digression, and as a work of reference for those of us who mostly spent our history lessons looking out of the classroom window, it is unbeatable.'

* Vasterbottenskuriren *

'I hope Made in Sweden becomes a widely read book.'

* Smalandsposten, Barometern *

'It is well-written, often funny and it challenges the reader to respond and think up better, more personal examples.'

* Aftonbladet *


* ANZ LitLovers *
Praise for 1947:

'[A]n extraordinary achievement.'

* The New York Times *
Praise for 1947:

' ... An outstanding work, history as it should be told.'

* Salil Tripathi, Chair of the PEN International Writers in Prison Committee, and author of The Colonel Who Would Not Repent *
Praise for 1947:

'You get a piece of a life in your hands. There is something here that you seldom find in young Swedish prose ... It is beautifully told. Dark, but beautiful.'

* Dagens Nyheter *

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