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The Antarctica of Love

On sale

19th January 2023

Price: £9.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781529402391

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Compassionate and complexFinancial Times

Stridsberg writes with chilling poiseNew York Times

A haunting portrait of the starkest meanings of love and family. Stridsberg’s literary talent left me awestruck” KATE REED PETTY, author of True Story


Inside me was voiceless silence, above me only bare defenceless sky and beneath me the earth’s unrelenting gravity, pulling me down

The moment of Inni’s death will never end. Not ever. Murdered one summer’s day on a lake shore at the heart of a distant, rain-washed forest, she tells the story of the moment her life was violently extinguished by an anonymous man.

But amidst that moment of death lies the story of what came before, and of the lives that carry on afterwards. This is the story of her children, her parents and the chain of choices, tragedies and accidents that lead her to a life on the streets and take her into the wrong crowd, the wrong places and, finally, the wrong car with the wrong person.

The Antarctica of Love is the unflinching testimony of a woman on the margins, giving voice to the voiceless and offering an insight into depths of absolute vulnerability, brutality and isolation. Hauntingly beautiful yet at times disturbing, this is a devastating story of unexpected love, tenderness and light in the total darkness.

Translated from Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner


Already with her second novel - The Faculty of Dreams, which was awarded the 2007 Nordic Council Literature Prize - Stridsberg proved that she is among the finest authors of contemporary Nordic literature ... With her latest work, The Antarctica of Love, Stridsberg has surpassed herself. The Antarctica of Love is a novel that one both rejects and cannot resist. It is brutal and oddly full of light, it is wild and violent, but also full of love and tenderness.
A shattering read from one of Scandinavia's truly modern storytellers, in prose that appears both more sophisticated and more accessible than previous works
The book has a linguistic abundance that fires up the reader with energy and the conviction that this novel can be one of the best of the year
Vårt Land
Gives voice to the unseen . . . A terrible and beautiful novel with unique moral weight.
Svenska Dagbladet
Few writers craft such distinct imagery, in such poetic meanderings, with such beauty and precision, as Stridsberg
Skånska Dagbladet
The Antarctica of Love is an utterly brilliant novel
A disturbingly beautiful book. Stridsberg writes perhaps the most taut and most beautiful prose in Sweden right now
Her story becomes inscribed upon our minds, so rich with poetic expressions and prosaic sentences that it is ultimately difficult to comprehend all the horror, since it is wrapped in such powerful words. ... Sara Stridsberg's The Antarctic of Love is this year's most poignant book
SVT Kulturnyheter
The Antarctica of Love is Stridsberg's darkest and most powerful novel to date. Here, there is no romanticizing of marginalization ... Here, it's all intense presence and nerve, up until the moment of death itself
Kate Reed Petty, author of TRUE STORY
The Antarctica of Love is a shocking and beautiful subversion of the 'dead girl' trope. With fierce dignity, the narrator in this elegiac novel refuses to be reduced to murder victim/sex worker/addict; she is a poet, philosopher, and author of her own life story in this haunting portrait of the starkest meanings of love and family. Stridsberg's literary talent left me awestruck
Dagens Nyheter
An amazing and almost unbearably precise novel
Stridsberg's language bears the unbearable, and provides a soft blanket that leads us into the worst - and beyond
Rónán Hession, Irish Times
An interesting experiment in narrative and emotional detachment
Translating Women
Excellent . . . Linguistically and structurally beautiful, The Antarctica of Love is a an exploration of our place in the world, how fleetingly we occupy it, and how much of a trace we leave
European Literature Network
A deeply moving portrait of a life cut short, free of judgement but rich in insight and compassion . . . Stridsberg's novel is brave, and it couldn't be more relevant
Financial Times
Stridsberg offers a compassionate and complex portrait of a woman damaged by her past, and of those left behind to mourn her death
New York Times
An elegy to the murdered woman's life, from her point of view . . . [Stridsberg] writes with chilling poise
A powerful story that ripples through time and across generations and social divides . . . with extraordinary empathy and insight
Kirkus Reviews (starred)
A stunning book which paints the portrait of a broken life with honesty and compassion
Publishers Weekly
A ruminative, heartrending novel