Longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s 2021 First Novel Prize’A striking first novel . . . unusual and surprisingly witty’ Sunday Times Culture’Inspired by a real man, this modern-day Call of the Wild is funny, moving and ceaselessly compelling’ People MagazineIn 1916, Sven Ormson leaves Stockholm to seek adventure in Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago where darkness reigns four months of the year, and where he might witness the splendour of the Northern Lights one night or be attacked by a polar bear the next. After a devastating accident while digging for coal, Sven heads north again and ends up on an uninhabited fjord living in a hut he builds, alone except for the company of a loyal dog, testing himself against the elements. Years into his routine isolation, the arrival of an unlikely visitor sparks a chain of events that brings Sven into a family of fellow outsiders and determines the course of the rest of his life.
Inspired by a real person and written with wry humour, in prose as beautiful as the stark landscape it evokes, The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven is a testament to the strength of human bonds, reminding us that even in the most inhospitable conditions, we are not beyond the reach of love.