The Alumni Network Blog

The latest from the Alumni Network at Lund University

Alumni Reading Challenge #3: “A book by an alum from Författarskolan”

Many of us are back in the office again after the summer holidays. But let’s keep those memories of reading at the beach, in the garden or on the sofa alive by continuing our Alumni Reading Challenge. We have arrived at challenge number 3 and now it is time to get familiar with “Författarskolan”, the Creative Writing Programme at Lund University, and its alumni.

The Creative Writing Programme is a two-year long programme at the Faculties of Humanities and Theology. Fiction writing runs like a common thread throughout the programme and occupies a significant part of the studies.
About the Creative Writing Programme (in Swedish)

Below you find three books by the programme’s alumni, however, there are of course many more to choose from.

The magazine Skriva’s article about alumni from the Creative Writing Programme (in Swedish)

Before the River Takes Us by Helena Thorfinn

Photo by Magdalena Vogt

Thorfinn is a bestselling Swedish fiction writer and journalist, born in Lund and studied at Författarskolan 2010-2012. Her books are noted for their interest in international development, poverty, human rights and ex-pat experiences. Before the publication of her first book, Innan Floden Tar Oss (Before the River Takes Us) in 2012, Thorfinn worked in international development.

The novel Before the River Takes Us is set in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and gives us a glimpse of a world where hard working diplomats, in this case Swedish Sophia and her family, cross paths with struggling garment workers and shady factory owners. The novel has been translated into Polish, Norwegian, Icelandic and English.

Fjärilsvägen by Patrik Lundberg

Photo by Stefan Tell

Patrik Lundberg, born in 1983, is a writer and journalist and studied at Författarskolan from 2010. He is the 2020 recipient of the Publicists Club’s Gold Pen Award and in 2021 he was one of the recipients of Stora Journalistpriset (a major journalism award) in Sweden. He has written several books, including; Gul på utsidan and Berättelsen om Sverige: texter om vår demokrati. Fjärilsvägen is his first novel. It is a story is a declaration of love to his mother Birgitta Lundberg and a story about Swedish society.

My Brother by Karin Smirnoff

Photo by Johan Gunséus

Karin Smirnoff started as a journalist but after some time she was eager to work with something else and therefore bought a carpentry factory. After a few years, she missed writing and applied to Författarskolan with what would become her debut novel: Jag for ner till bror (My Brother). It is a novel steeped in darkness and violence – about abuse, love, complicity, and coming to terms with the past. My Brother was received with great enthusiasm, and she was nominated for the August Prize in 2018 in the literary fiction category. Book two, Vi for upp med mor (My Mother), was published in spring 2019 and the trilogy was completed in 2020 with Sen for jag hem (Then I Went Home). By December 2020, her series about Jana Kippo had sold more than 500 000 copies.

In December 2021, Smirnoff was announced as the new author in the best-selling and award-winning Millennium book series, originally created by Stieg Larsson. And in autumn 2022 the first book by Smirnoff in the Millennium series, Havsörnens skrik (Girl in the Eagle’s Talons) arrived in the bookstores.