Journal

by
Birgitta Hjalmarson

Man, Woman, or Both?

This essay was first published by Women Writers, Women's Books in July 2019.  Garbo portrayed you in Queen Christina, beautiful, when you, in fact, were not. These days you’re celebrated as an early feminist, although you, of course, would have sneered. And to be...

Crayfish Rhapsody

When I was young, I went crayfishing with my father in Sweden. Although I can’t remember the exact year, it must have been on August 7, for that was the day the season began. My father and his brothers were fortunate enough to have their own fishing waters. They had...

Before Fylgia (6)

Before Fylgia, there was another story, told by the villagers themselves. Many of my readers have asked about it, and so I decided to post it here. This is the sixth installment. Not yet fiction, it occupies a realm of its own.      Carl Fredrik Lundgren was a man...

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...

On Writing.

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson This interview was originally published by Lori's Book Loft at author-spotlight-birgitta-hjalmarson.html. Please tell us a little about growing up in Sweden and your studies? I grew up in a town on the West Coast...

When Swedish Farmers Marched.

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson       In the years before the First World War, as tension mounted on the continent, the Swedish political parties drew their own internal battle lines. The Conservatives championed a stronger defense, opposed by...

The Great Brännvin Row. Before Fylgia (5).

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

Before Fylgia (4).

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson      Before Fylgia, there was another story, told by the villagers themselves. Many of my readers have asked about it, and so I decided to post it here. This is the fourth installment. Not yet fiction, it occupies...

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 roan gelding...

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 to live our...