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Critically acclaimed novel from one of Sweden's most prominent 20th-century writers.Ivar Lo-Johansson (1901-1990), a leading literary figure in Sweden, was the last surviving member of the so-called 'thirties generation', largely self-educated writers from impoverished backgrounds, who wrote about their roots. In the 1950s he began a series of autobiographical novels examining the experiences of his youthful alter-ego; while his tone is ironical, he does not diminish the reader's sympathy for the hardships the protagonist undergoes. Gärdfarihandlaren (Peddling My Wares), the second of these works, draws on Lo-Johansson's own life when, aged nineteen, he spent a summer cycling through Sweden trying to peddle small goods; his protagonist is fleeing the horizons of his poverty-stricken childhood while trying to come to terms with his own identity. Through a series of adventures, some comical, some disturbing, the hero gradually learns that a romantic dream of total freedom is both impossible and foolish. This novel has enjoyed wide critical and popular acclaim, and has been reissued in Swedish many times since its first appearance in 1953; first English translation.
Studies in Scandinavian Literature and Culture
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