Lydia Sandgren (Sweden)

Lydia Sandgren was born in 1987 and grew up in rural western Sweden. She later studied psychology at the University of Gothenburg. During her studies, she began writing the novel that in 2020 became her literary debut, “Collected Works”. The 690-page novel was awarded the August Prize the same year, the most prestigious Swedish literary prize, and has been translated into many languages. The English translation was published in 2023.

The novel has two timelines: one set in the 1980s and 1990s and another around 2010. The majority of the novel takes place in Gothenburg. It is a close and detailed portrayal of the city and its intellectual and cultural circles, as well as a deep exploration of the complexity of the human psyche and what shapes us as individuals.

“Collected Works” has been described as a family saga. The plot in both timelines revolves around the Berg family: Martin, a prospective writer who later becomes a book publisher, and his later wife Cecilia, who becomes a humanities researcher. In the couple’s vicinity is Martin’s friend, the artist Gustav Becker. Martin and Cecilia’s daughter Rakel is central to the later timeline. A great mystery has characterized her and her family’s life. One April day in 1997, Cecilia suddenly disappeared, leaving her husband and children behind and has never been heard from again.

In addition to the novel, Lydia Sandgren, who has always worked as a psychologist, has published opinion pieces and essays on psychiatry and psychology, as well as the essay “On Disease Art” about two Gothenburg artists from the 20th century diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Photo: Lydia Sandgren
Photo: private collection

Opening of the exhibition “Between the Lines” introducing Swedish literature

Grand Futurological Congress: Lydia Sandgren (Sweden)