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1947: when now begins


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About the Author

Elisabeth Asbrink is a journalist and author. Her parents were Hungarian and English, and she was born and raised in, and now lives in, Sweden. Her previous books have won the August Prize, the Danish-Swedish Cultural Fund Prize, and Poland's Kapuscinski Prize. 1947 (the first of her books to be published in English, by Scribe in 2017) won the prestigious Letterstedt Prize, was translated into 19 languages, and was published in the UK, Australia, the USA, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, South Korea, Poland, Denmark, Finland, and Norway, among others. Her latest book is Made in Sweden. Fiona Graham has a degree in Modern Languages from Oxford University, and has lived in Kenya, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Nicaragua, and Belgium. She translates from Spanish, French, Dutch, Swedish, and German, and is currently the reviews editor at the Swedish Book Review.


`Extraordinarily inventive and gripping, a uniquely personal account of a single, momentous year.'

-- Philippe Sands, author of East West Street

`Elisabeth Asbrink's lucid and vivid narrative exposes the reader to the anxious dilemmas of refugees, the calculations of lawyers in tribunals, the ennui at cocktail parties, the cynical strategies in negotiating halls, the devastating impacts on people's lives, and reveals how our modern era was shaped ... An outstanding work, history as it should be told.'

-- Salil Tripathi, Chair of the PEN International Writers in Prison Committee, and author of The Colonel Who Would Not Repent

`This is history as a series of eclectic snapshots of events and episodes and people, from the Nuremberg Trials to the partition of India, during a year in which the world tried to redefine its hopes and come to terms with its failures: and it makes for fascinating, disquieting, lively, and often surprising reading.'

-- Caroline Moorehead, author of Village of Secrets

`Gripping, overwhelming, and completed with such stylistic and factual consistency that you almost lose your breath. It does not happen often, but occasionally: good journalistic craftsmanship rises and becomes great literature.'

* Sydsvenska Dagbladet *

`Elisabeth Asbrink has written a book about history that distinguishes itself from many other history books by its poetic beauty ... 1947 is as much an adept history book as it is a beautiful and well-written piece of fiction. Read it!'

* Svenska Dagbladet *

`If you don't get your hands on this book you will miss out not only on a historically meaningful year, but also on a strong reading experience.'

* Joenkoepings-Posten *

`You get a piece of a life in your hands. There is something here that you seldom find in young Swedish prose ... It is beautifully told. Dark, but beautiful.'

* Dagens Nyheter *

`An intriguing account of a number of significant events which occurred in a year when the world was beginning to come to terms with the fallout from the Second World War ... Asbrink deftly brings together the tangle, the mess, the aspirations, and the disappointments which characterized the period and which for her resonate personally through her family history.'

-- Rosemary Ashton, author of One Hot Summer: Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858

`A skillful and illuminating way of presenting, to wonderful effect, the cultural, political, and personal history of a year that changed the world.'

* Kirkus *

`Asbrink's elegant prose (translated by Fiona Graham) offers a lyrical history of a year that seems both recent and ancient.'

* The Spectator *

`Like an image created from a thousand juxtaposed pixels, Asbrink builds a cumulative picture of 1947 ... Less a work of history, her book is more like an ingeniously constructed novel.'

* The Jewish Chronicle *

`Asbrink works with great subtlety, allowing us to make our own judgments and trace any parallels or echoes with the present. Fiona Graham deserves credit for her remarkable translation.'

* The National *

'Utterly fascinating.'

-- Rick O'Shea

`[A]n extraordinary achievement.'

* The New York Times *

`[Asbrink's] careful juxtaposition of disparate events highlights an underlying interconnect-edness and suggests a new way of thinking about the postwar era.'

* The New Yorker *

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