Biography

Birgitta and her husband live north of San Francisco, in a house on a hill, overlooking the ocean. When not writing, she walks along the bluff and up into the forest, alone or with friends. Tutoring local children keeps her grounded.

      She studied Swedish, English and German Literature, earning Master’s Degrees from the University of Lund, Sweden, and the University of California at Davis. While covering the San Francisco art beat as a contributing editor for Art & Auction in New York, she also wrote Artful Players, a book on early California art, published by Balcony Press.

“One must know the world so well before one can know the parish.”

      Turning to fiction, she drew on memories of her native Sweden, where she spent her childhood summers in a village much like the one we encounter in Fylgia. Sarah Orne Jewett’s words to Willa Cather still hold true: “Of course, one day you will write about your own country. In the meantime, get all you can. One must know the world so well before one can know the parish.”

Journal

by Birgitta Hjalmarson

Eugenics. The Darker Side of Sweden.

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson In August of 1904, the University of Lund gave its first summer lecture. The topic was whether or not the Germanic tribes had originated in Skåne, the southernmost province of Sweden, where Lund had been founded about 990, the university...

Fylgia Chapter One Excerpt

Chapter One Excerpt I STILL GO to the grave. My younger self runs ahead. I follow, cutting through the forest and staying away from the country road. An old woman in a beret and a tweed jacket. Anemones cover the graveyard in the spring. Songbirds nest in the church...

She Sat the Whole Time Cold

Journal by Birgitta HjalmarsonThe castle in Stockholm was cold. Descartes had died here in 1650, supposedly freezing to death. Queen Kristina, whom he had come to tutor, would abdicate and flee to Rome. In 1891, when Victoria arrived from her native Germany, the old...