Introducing Stig Dagerman

By Laurie Thompson

Dagerman_island coverStig Dagerman is a Swedish author from the mid-20th century I hadn’t known about before coming across Island of the Doomed, but in talking with that novel’s translator, Laurie Thompson, I learned a bit about Dagerman’s all too brief, nova-like burst of literary excellence—including the daily satirical verses (think along the lines of those short poems Calvin Trillin writs for The Nation) he created for Sweden’s leading newspaper, Arbetaren, right up until the day he killed himself. Now I want to track down more of Dagerman’s work, and fortunately the University of Minnesota Press seems to be making that a bit easier; Island is the second Dagerman book they’ve republished in the last year (after German Autumn). In this essay, Thompson introduces us to Dagerman, and tells us a bit about what makes Island of the Doomed such a remarkable story.

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