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The August Prize - best Swedish books of 2016

The winners of this year’s August Prize, one of Sweden’s most prestigious literature awards, have been announced. The prize is awarded in three categories: fiction, non-fiction and children’s and young adult literature.

This year’s recipients were announced on 28 November. The prize for best fiction was awarded to Lina Wolff for her novel De polygotta älskarna (The Polygot Lovers, Albert Bonniers förlag). “Wolff describes the dominance and subordination of the sexes, sexual power struggles, deceit and the longing for love. But more than anything the book is about the multi-lingual, the polyglot as a prerequisite for human existence”, the jury writes.

Read more about The Polygot Lovers in the latest issue of New Swedish Books, where Swedish poet Arne Johnsson writes: “there are three people in focus /…/ who with their longing for love and understanding, twist around one another in an intricate, intense web that stretches all the way from Sweden out across a world of languages and fates.”

Nina Burton won the prize for non-fiction with her Gutenberggalaxens nova. En essäberättelse om Erasmus av Rotterdam, humanismen och 1500-talets medierevolution (The Nova in the Gutenberg Galaxy. An Essay about Erasmus of Rotterdam, Humanism and the Media Revolution of the Sixteenth Century. Albert Bonniers förlag). “A history lesson that with its lively language puts our own time in perspective”, the jury writes.

The award for best children’s and young adult book was given to Ann-Helén Laestadius for her young adult novel Tio över ett (Ten past One. Rabén och Sjögren). “Ann-Helén Laestadius’ young adult novel is a story about living with a constant fear of everything falling apart […] Through her masterful prose, Laestadius’ weaves together location, politics and psychology”, the jury writes.

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