About the author
Per Olof Sundman was born and grew up in Vaxholm, later to become hotel keeper in Jormlien, a mountain town in Jämtland. In 1963, he returned to Vaxholm where he became politically active in the Centre Party, which he represented in the Swedish parliament 1969–1979. He made his debut as a writer in 1957. His greatest period was in the 1960s, when he published several highly recognised documentary novels, written in an objective, recording style, which leaves moral judgment to readers.
About the winning piece
Ingenjör Andrées Luftfärd describes Salomon August Andrée’s and his friends Nils Strindberg’s and Knut Frænkel’s poorly prepared expedition to the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon in 1897, a quest with a disastrous end. In 1930, their remains were found on Vitön along with the remnants of their equipment, including diaries and filmed material which could be exposed. Per Olof Sundman studied the remaining material in detail, before he started writing. Knut Frænkel is the narrator of the novel. Salomon August Andrée is described as a cynical dreamer so swept up in society’s desire for sensations and his own obsessions that he fails to realise the hopelessness of the project.
Ingenjör Andrées luftfärd
Published by: Norstedts
Publication year: 1967
This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say
The novel, "Ingenjör Andrées Luftfärd", combines strong internal and external tension with a singularly objective poetry.