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Childhood

Author:

Jan Myrdal
Foreword by Harrison Salisbury

Childhood

He became the child his parents and their generation didn’t want.

All his life Jan Myrdal has prided himself on being a maverick. Now this maverick has taken his place in the forefront of Swedish letters.

Harrison Salisbury, from the introduction to Childhood

Childhood

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Literature

Childhood

Jan Myrdal is best known in the U.S. for Report from a Chinese Village, hailed by Harrison Salisbury as a “social classic.” He has written over 60 books--novels, poetry, plays, political and social commentary, history, art and literary criticism, and has edited scholarly editions of Balzac and Strindberg. He maintains a controversial presence in Swedish culture through frequent radio, TV, and newspaper commentaries.

Childhood

All his life Jan Myrdal has prided himself on being a maverick. Now this maverick has taken his place in the forefront of Swedish letters.

Harrison Salisbury, from the introduction to Childhood

The son of Swedish Nobel laureates Alva and Gunnar Myrdal, the author here offers an unsentimental, deeply personal memoir of his childhood from five to 11. Through exercising brutal candor, Myrdal relates magical times as well as the anger and hurt caused by parents who could not seem to love him. This book is straightforwardly and beautifully written, successfully evoking emotions without manipulating the reader.

Publishers Weekly

Remarkable. The viewpoint of the child is acutely rendered. A chapter that begins, ‘One late winter day I drowned,’ blends hair-raising reality with the visionary. Yet, oddly enough, if the atmosphere of Childhood sometimes evokes an Ingmar Bergman film, passions congealing into icy solitude, the overall mood is tender and lyrical.

Robert Taylor, Boston Globe

A gift to world literature.

Washington Times

His autobiography will remain alive in Swedish literature for a very long time. It is great literature.

Maria Bergom Larsson, Aftonbladet

Artistically, the truest thing any Swedish writer has written during the past few decades.

Caj Lundgren, Svenska Dagbladet

Jan Myrdal is Sweden’s best writer. Whenever he travels abroad it becomes silent in Sweden.

Ivar Lo-Johansson

When he reworks episodes and events he visualizes them with almost hallucinatory sharpness. He is where he writes he approaches the child’s world with insight and absolute respect. Need I say this is living literature?

Peter Curman, Stockholms Tidningen