Lina Nordquist  (Sweden)

Photo: Emily Dahl

Lina Nordquist (b. 1977) is a new fiction writer. Her debut novel, „Dit du går, följer jag,“ (2021), translated into Estonian by Tiina Mullamaa (“Järgnen sulle”, Eesti Raamat, 2022), tells a story of a family in the same house from the end of the 19th century to the 1970s.

We meet two narrators on two different timelines: Unni comes from Norway with her family and settles in a croft in the middle of a forest in Sweden. The daughter-in-law of Unni’s son Roar, Kåra, dislikes both the croft and the family. The two stories are presented to the reader in parallel – in every second chapter. Central to the novel is severe poverty, mental illness and deeply held secrets.

The title, echoing the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament, expresses loyalty and togetherness in complicated situations. These values carry a completely different meaning for Unni and Kåra. In addition to good insights into the eras depicted, into nature and psychology, the novel is distinguished by beautiful and lyrical Swedish.

Soon after the debut, Lina Nordquist’s second novel, „Livet innan du dör“ (2022), was published. Here, the time and environment are completely different; this time an area with detached houses in a contemporary urban environment during a single summer evening is depicted. All the people who meet here carry unpleasant secrets or traumas. As in Dit du går, följer jag, the reader alternately sees different people’s perspectives.

Before she became a novelist, Nordquist had a career as a researcher. Nordquist first studied pharmacy and received her doctorate in medical science at Uppsala University in 2007. In addition to research and writing, Lina Nordquist has long been active in the Liberal party, working mainly with health care policy. Since 2018, she has been a member of Sweden’s Riksdag and since 2022, held important posts of group leader for the Liberals in the Riksdag and of deputy party chairman.

Lina’s opinion on an Impossible Dream:

“Quite frankly, I am not a fan of the word ”impossible”. At one time, space trips and female presidencies were considered undoable – unimaginable even. Who are we to decide that something cannot be done? Of course, we should daydream. We should imagine, yearn and hunger for! And we must never forget our only real limitation: do we want it badly enough to really dedicate ourselves?”

Friday, May 12th 16.00 at the hall of Tartu Public Library