Pushkin lands award-winning Swedish debut

Pushkin lands award-winning Swedish debut

Pushkin Press has acquired Collected Works, the literary debut of Swedish writer Lydia Sandgren, about a middle-aged publisher and the void left behind by his missing wife.

Deputy publisher Laura Macaulay acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Madelene Andersson at Bonnier Rights. The novel won the August Prize for Fiction, Sweden’s most prestigious literary prize, and has been sold in 14 languages, selling close to 100,000 copies in Sweden so far, according to the publisher. It will be translated into English. 

Slated for autumn 2022, the novel, a family saga and "juicy bildungsroman", follows Martin Berg, the owner of a small, ailing publishing house, his oldest friend, the famous, famously troubled painter Gustav Becker, and Martin's grown-up kids. At the heart of the novel is the mystery surrounding Cecilia, Martin's wife who walked out 15 years ago and hasn't been heard from since.

Commenting on the acquisition, Macaulay said: "Collected Works has been the most talked about debut in Sweden in recent years, and I'm excited to continue this conversation when we publish in the UK. Lydia Sandgren is a major talent, and her juicy bildungsroman raises so many questions about art, power and love. It's an engrossing, zeitgeisty novel with a compelling mystery at its heart."

Sandgren said: “As readers of this book will notice, I have a long and loving relationship with literature and languages. That Collected Works will be published in English — the 'Language of Languages' — is something that I couldn’t ever have imagined during those long, laborious years at my writing desk. I am really looking forward being published by Pushkin Press.”