translated from the Swedish by Rika Lesser
Translation Copyright © by Rika Lesser.
Used by permission of the author.
Elisabeth Rynell , one of Sweden's most highly regarded women writers alive today, was born in Stockholm in 1954. She has lived in London and traveled overland through Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to India. For decades a resident of Sweden's remote north (Älvsbyn, Lycksele, Umeå), Rynell now divides her time between Stockholm and Delsbo, a community in Hälsingland, farther south in Norrland. Her writing is lyrical, straightforward or oblique, as need be--not a word is wasted--and has been praised for its emotional intensity, openness and sensuality. She writes of beauty and terror; over time Rynell's tales increasingly cross into borderlands of myth and fable. She made her literary debut with a collection of poetry in 1975. Eleven more books ensued; four are works of fiction, one is nonfiction, and the other seven are poetry, so far. After the sudden death of her 32-year-old husband, Elisabeth Rynell wrote works of poetry and prose that are still widely read and esteemed in her native Sweden. The poetry collection Nattliga samtal (Nocturnal Conversations, 1990) came first; the novel Hohaj was published in 1997.
Rika Lesser is the author of four books of poetry: Questions of Love: New & Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow, 2008), Growing Back: Poems 1972-1992 (South Carolina, 1997), All We Need of Hell (North Texas, 1995), and Etruscan Things (Braziller, 1983; new ed. Sheep Meadow, 2010). She has translated more than a dozen collections of poetry or fiction for readers of all ages, including works by Göran Sonnevi, Gunnar Ekelöf, and Claes Andersson from the Swedish and Rafik Schami, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Hermann Hesse from the German. She has been the recipient of the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, two Translation Prizes from the Swedish Academy, and others.