August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, painter, essayist, novelist, and poet. He wrote over 30 works of fiction and more than 60 plays in an illustrious career that spanned 40 years. Widely regarded as the father of modern Swedish literature, Strindberg is best remembered for his work The Red Room, which is considered the first modern Swedish novel.
Nelly Leonie Sachs, internationally noted German-Swedish poet and dramatist, wrote conventional romantic poems until the rise of Nazism brought about a drastic change in her life. Forced to flee to Sweden, she began writing about the grief and yearnings of her fellow Jews, concurrently translating German works into Swedish and vice-versa. She won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966.
Nobel Prize-winning Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer was raised by his mother after his parents split. He initially worked as a psychologist. Known for books such as 17 dikter, he specialized in modernist imagery and metaphors. A skilled pianist, he played with his left hand after his right side was paralyzed.
Taslima Nasrin is a Bangladeshi-Swedish writer, feminist, physician, activist, and secular humanist. An internationally recognized author, Nasrin is renowned for expressing feminist views and her criticisms of religions. Taslima Nasrin is a recipient of many prestigious awards such as the Sakharov Prize, Freethought Heroine Award, and Erwin Fischer Award.
Swedish poet and author Linda Bostrom Knausgard is known for her novels Helioskatastrofen and the August Prize-winning Välkommen til Amerika, or Welcome to America. She is also the former wife of Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård and the daughter of actor Ingrid Boström.
Nobel Prize-winning Swedish author Pär Lagerkvist is remembered for his bestselling novels The Dwarf and Barabbas. He mostly used religious figures to examine the question of good and evil. One of his prose novellas, The Hangman, was later adapted for the stage. He also chaired the Swedish Academy.
Nobel Prize-winning Swedish author Harry Martinson grew up in foster homes and ran away at 16 to become a sailor. He was the first working-class author to be named to the Swedish Academy. His best-known works include the poetry collection Trade Wind and the novel The Road.
Cornelis Vreeswijk was a Dutch-born Swedish actor, singer-songwriter, and poet. He is often counted among the most successful and influential Swedish troubadours of all time. Cornelis Vreeswijk's life and career inspired the 2010 Swedish drama film, Cornelis, which was directed by Amir Chamdin.
Apart from being a famous poet in Sweden, Karin Boye also gained international fame with her sci-fi novel Kallocain. She was one of the chief figures of Swedish modern poetry and of the Clarté Socialist movement. After separating from her economist husband, Leif Björk, she had 2 lesbian relationships. She died by suicide.
Swedish poet Carl Boberg was born to a carpenter and initially worked as a sailor and Church minister. He penned the Swedish poem O Store Gud, which later led to the English hymn How Great Thou Art. He later also worked as a politician and served the Riksdag for 2 decades.
Swedish author, playwright, and journalist Hjalmar Söderberg had begun his career as a civil servant, before switching to full-time writing. Known for his novels such as Doctor Glas and Martin Birck’s Youth, he also penned short story collections such as Historietter. His themes are often melancholic and cynical.
Verner von Heidenstam was a Swedish novelist and poet. He is best remembered for winning the 1916 Nobel Prize in Literature. Verner von Heidenstam is considered an important poet and some of his works continue to be cherished in Sweden.
Swedish poet Erik Axel Karlfeldt is mostly remembered for his regional poetry that portrayed the peasant life and culture of his homeland. He rejected the Nobel Prize once due to his membership of the Swedish Academy that awards the prize but was awarded the Nobel posthumously.
Ulf Lundell is a Swedish writer, songwriter, poet, musician, composer, and artist. One of the most influential rock musicians in the history of Swedish rock music, Ulf Lundell has also achieved notoriety for his drinking habit and controversial lifestyle.
Viktor Rydberg was a Swedish writer best remembered for his novel Singoalla, which was published in 1858. He is also remembered for his most ambitious novel Den siste Atenaren, which was published in 1859. Renowned for his versatility, Viktor Rydberg experimented with different genres, including mythology.
Frans G. Bengtsson was a Swedish poet, novelist, essayist, and biographer. He is best remembered for his magnum opus, a biography on Charles XII. Bengtsson is also remembered for his work Röde Orm, a Viking saga novel, which was translated as The Long Ships.
Swedish poet and author Gustaf Fröding had initially been a journalist. His works showcase the plight of the down-trodden. He spent much of his life in mental hospitals and sanatoriums. A few passages from his poetry collection Splashes and Spray even led to him being prosecuted for pornography.
Esaias Tegnér was a Swedish writer, professor, and bishop. He was considered the father of modern poetry in 19th century Sweden. Referred to as Sweden's first modern man, Esaias Tegnér is best remembered for his national romantic epic Frithjof's Saga, which has been translated into many languages including English and German.
Remembered as a prominent figure of the Decadent movement and macabre literature, Swedish author and poet Eric Stenbock was known to be eccentric. He owned several animals and reptiles, including a bear and snakes, and also engaged in homosexual relationships. His later life was plagued by drug addiction and alcoholism.
Lars Wivallius was a Swedish poet, auditor, cartoonist, and adventurer. Many of his early poetic works are characterized by a lively sense of nature and a warm poetic feeling. Lars Wivallius is also remembered for his skills as a draftsman.
Gunnar Ekelöf was a Swedish writer and poet who won numerous prizes for his poetry. An important member of the Swedish Academy, Gunnar Ekelöf is perhaps best remembered for his work Diwan on the Prince of Emgion, which earned him the prestigious Nordic Council Literature Prize in 1966.
Swedish author Carl Jonas Love Almqvist was known for his diverse range, which included both romanticism and realism. Known as one of the architects of Swedish literature, he initially served as a school principal. His best-known works include the novels Amorina and The Queen’s Diamond Ornament.
One of the founding members of the Swedish Geatish Society, which tried to arouse nationalism through historical study, Erik Gustaf Geijer was a historian, philosopher, poet, political and social theorist all rolled into one. A professor of history at the Uppsala University, he had authored number of books and wrote music for many of his poems, chamber works, choirs etc.
Dan Andersson was a Swedish author, composer, and poet. He is best remembered as an exponent of proletarian literature, although his works aren't limited to that particular genre. Dan Andersson's poetry is still revered in Sweden due to its naturalist mysticism.
Artur Lundkvist was a Swedish poet, writer, and literary critic. He published around 80 books during his lifetime and many of his works have been translated into nearly 30 languages. Lundkvist is also remembered for translating works of other authors from French and Spanish into Swedish. Also a political activist, Lundkvist was honored with the Lenin Peace Prize in 1958.
Swedish writer Lennart Hellsing, best known for his children’s books, was considered a master of nonsense writing and humor. He not only received the Samfundet De Nio Grand Prize but was also a finalist for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. He was married to Swedish actor Yvonne Lombard.
Swedish civil servant and author Georg Stiernhielm is regarded as the father of Swedish poetry. Best known for his epic poem Hercules, he had also penned works on philology and history and was a mathematician, too. He also laid stress on the use of Swedish words, eliminating foreign words from his vocabulary.
Swedish author and poet Göran Tunström is remembered for his depictions of his native region, Sunne; for his autobiographical tone; and for his magic realism. Though he was active as an author for a long time, it wasn’t until his work Juloratoriet was made into a movie that he gained popularity.
One of the most prominent Swedish romantic poets, Erik Johan Stagnelius worked as a civil servant in Stockholm. He is best known for his dramas The Martyrs and The Bacchantes. Not much is known about his life, except that he died of a chronic and mysterious condition at age 29.
Swedish author and historian Olof von Dalin is remembered for his pioneering contribution in bringing in Enlightenment into Swedish culture. He anonymously wrote the first literary periodical of Sweden, Then swänska Argus. His best-known works include the allegory The Tale About the Horse and the folk ballad The Hat Ballad.
Gustaf Philip Creutz was a Swedish diplomat, statesman, and poet. He is credited with drafting the first Treaty of Amity and Commerce Between the United States and Sweden along with Benjamin Franklin whom he had met in Paris where he was serving as an ambassador.
Lars Gyllensten was a Swedish physician and author. He started his career as an associate professor of histology at the Karolinska Institute from 1955 to 1973. In 1973, he left the institute to focus solely on his career as a writer. Few of Lars Gyllensten's literary works have been translated into German, French, and English.
Oscar Levertin was one of the finest poets and literary historians of his country and one of most prominent figures of the Swedish Romantic movement. His best-known works include Kung Salomo och Morolf and the short-story volume Rococonoveller. He was also the University of Stockholm’s first chair of literary history.
Thomas Thorild was a Swedish poet, philosopher, critic, and feminist. He is best remembered for promoting women's rights and gender equality. Thorild was popular among women not only for his ideas of gender equality but also for his good looks. Thomas Thorild also served as a librarian and professor at the University of Greifswald.
Finnish-Swedish poet Frans Mikael Franzén, who had been the Bishop of the Diocese of Härnösand, was also one of the pioneers of the Romantic movement in Sweden. Initially a professor of philosophy, he later reformed Swedish poetry, inspired by the likes of Shakespeare and Milton.