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?...

Philip Roth and #MeToo

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson  In 2009, Marie Lundström arrives at Philip Roth’s isolated Connecticut country house to record an interview for Swedish Radio.“Are you alone?” he asks.She is. The taxi just left.Before they settle down in his...

Fylgia Chapter One Excerpt

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson  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...

Sam Law’s Interview on Fylgia and More

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson Sam Law, of It's Good to Read, published this interview in November, 2018. Please, give us a little more about the person behind the book:Born in Sweden, I’ve spent the better part of my life in the US. I came to...

The Historical Novels Review of 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...

Emir, the Swedish Ardennes

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson A shorter version of this post was first published by Women Writers, Women Books at http://www.booksbywomen.org.They named him Emir, after those powerful Arab rulers. He was an Ardennes draft horse, a...

Zarathustra’s Tightrope Walker

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson SUSAN MARY MALONE / JUNE 26, 2018 Creating a Great Novel out of Historical Events This week we have an interview with Birgitta Hjalmarson, whose beautiful novel, Fylgia,was published this month by...

Reading Tomas Tranströmer

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson Tomas Tranströmer’s poems won’t leave you alone. They’re dark, infused with dread, but also shot through with light, as when, nearby, a string quartet plays Schubert. So much we have to trust to be able...