Monika Fagerholm (1961) is one of the most distinguished Finnish-Swedish authors. She has been described as an innovator of the Swedish language and a groundbreaking, style-forming author. Fagerholm is also known, beyond her authorship, as an active public debater and a mentor for new authors.
Fagerholm made her debut with the short story collection Sham in 1987. She had her breakthrough seven years later with the novel Underbara kvinnor vid vatten, followed by several other significant novels. Diva was published in 1998 and Den amerikanska flickan in 2005, winning her the August Prize. Lola uppochner was released in 2012, and in 2016 Fagerholm was awarded the Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize.
Vem dödade bambi? (in English, Who killed bambi?) is her seventh novel. In a more concentrated format than her previous works, it revolves around a gang rape committed by seemingly prosperous young people in a small, well-to-do community, Villastan, not far from Helsinki. The focus is not on the rape itself, but on the events before and after it. The novel is a dense web of stories, memories, dialogue, and cultural references, while the range of characters is broad. Vem dödade bambi? was awarded the 2020 Nordic Council Literature Prize. In the motivation, Fagerholm’s novel is described as a stylised tale of morality written with fervent energy. The year 2020, Fagerholm was also awarded with the Tollander Prize and Selma Lagerlöf Prize for her novel and her life’s work.
The conversation is moderated in Swedish by Sunna Dís Másdóttir, literature mediator, author and member of the jury for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.