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

Before Fylgia. II.

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson They say when God created Sweden he began with the south, and so it became fertile and good in every way. The Devil, meanwhile, ran farther north, where he created the district of Mark.  On the surface it was...

Before Fylgia. I.

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson Before Fylgia, there was another story, compiled during my visits to Sweden. Many of my readers have asked about it, and so I decided to post it here. This is the first installment. Not yet fiction, it occupies a...

Horse Meat in Sweden. Its Troubled Past.

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson Dead horses hang from a giant tree. Blood drips from their lacerated flesh. Below, hooded figures tend to cauldrons, the air putrid from boiling meat. Did I dream it? Or did I hear about it as a child in Sweden?...