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

The Historical Novels Review on Fylgia

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson Fylgia WRITTEN BY BIRGITTA HJALMARSON REVIEW BY VIVIANE CRYSTAL Anna is a proud, intelligent older woman recounting her life in the dark, serious atmosphere of Sweden. Her story begins in the time just preceding...

Rilke in Sweden, Summer of 1904

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson Rainer Maria Rilke was in his late twenties when he wrote Ellen Key from Rome, complaining about the “galloping spring.” Two years earlier, in 1901, he had married Clara Westhoff, a sculptress, with whom he now had...

She Sat the Whole Time Cold

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson The 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...