1994 Kerstin Ekman, Sweden: Händelser vid vatten

1994 Kerstin Ekman, Sverige: Händelser vid vatten
Cato Lein

About the author

Kerstin Ekman lives in Valsjöbyn in Jämtland, but grew up in Katrineholm. She made her literary debut in 1959 with a detective novel – a genre of many of her publications. Kerstin Ekman was elected member of the Swedish Academy in 1978, but did not take part in its work after the Salman Rushdie affair in 1989. She has written a suite of four novels about Katrineholm where the story centres on selected women’s destinies. In addition to being interested in the circumstances of women, her novels often have a vein of natural mysticism and a fascination for the hidden powers of people.

About the winning piece

Blackwater is a detective novel set in the town of Svartvattnet in Norrland. It depicts a woman from Stockholm, who moves in with her boyfriend in the town to work as a teacher in a commune. However, events revolve around a double homicide that remains unsolved and the consequences of this trauma for the people in the town. Kerstin Ekman’s story invites many reading styles; it can be read as a Bildungsroman, as a critical analysis of gender roles, as a mythical story with symbolic elements, but, of course, also simply as a thrilling detective novel.

Händelser vid vatten (Händelser vid vatten (eng. Blackwater))

Published by: Albert Bonnier's publishing company 

Publication year: 1993

This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say

"Blackwater" is a modern alarm clock. The tension is created around how humans break each other down – and nature – in rough times of structural transformation. The healing powers become apparent when the good in the fathers replaces the excessive motherly love which locks the characters in a fateful tragedy. This is a book which constantly reveals new secret rooms – also in the reader.