1980 Sara Lidman, Sweden: Vredens barn

1980 Sara Lidman, Sverige: Vredens barn
© Per-Åke Uddman

About the author

Sara Lidman, novelist and debater, was born and grew up in Missenträsk in northern Västerbotten. A town with barren mires, dark winters and early frost. But also a town of Bible preaching, fighting people and a wider sky than in most other places on earth. Similarly, Sara Lidman’s view was broader than most. Her passion burned equally hot for South Africa’s suppressed people and the Vietnamese suffering in the war. But the limited life perspective of people in Western countries in the increasingly commercialised world also arose her heartfelt anger.

About the winning piece

Vredens barn is the second part of a series of five novels on colonisation and railway construction in upper Norrland by the end of the 19th century. The protagonist is Didrik Mårtensson in Månliden. He is obsessed with ensuring that the railroad reaches the area, thus breaking the isolation of the town. But the difficulty of bringing people’s dreams on par with authorities’ and capitalism’s interests turns out to be considerable. The language of the novel has a highly specific slant, strongly influenced by the local dialect and old biblical language. Vredens barn was the first literary work of a woman to receive the Literature Prize. Eighteen years after its establishment.

Vredens barn

Published by: Albert Bonnier's publishing company 

Publication year: 1979

This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say

Sara Lidman evokes here an entire rural life and human experience with love, tenderness, playful irony, and an inexhaustible joy of storytelling, which gives the story a mythical dimension.