For the readers of Siri Hustvedt    

A female poet in her forties writes a book about falling in love with her German teacher at the age of nineteen during her Au Pair-year in Vienna. Is this just a teeny discomfiture which means nothing set in a long time-perspective?

From time to time the female poet returns to Vienna. She studies philosophy, works as a translator, composes poems and writes nonfiction. She marries and gives birth to a child. But in her thoughts she always returns to the place where everything happened – or not happened. Why do some events make a deep impact on us and turn out to be keys for the understanding of our deeds and our surrounding?

Au-pair is a story of obsession. Cecilia Hansson closely combats with a situation until a new window opens, until she understands a little bit more. She has an eye on failure, longing and creativity. And searches for answers on how to be yourself.

22 years later she sits in the same hallway in Vienna, where she met Walter at the age of 19. There is a man with sun-glasses. Is that him? And didn’t we learn from books such as “I Love Dick” – that a love story is a love story even when it never happened?

novel, 240, Hardcover
originally published by Natur och Kultur (Sweden) 2019

Rights available for: Worldwide


The Author

Cecilia Hansson was born in 1973 in Northern Sweden. She is a writer, journalist and translator from German into Swedish, including poetry by Nora Gomringer and Monika Rinck. Hansson has lived in Vienna and holds a Master degree in German. She has published several books of poetry, all highly acclaimed by critics.

… a lightly time- and-intellectual journey about love, dreams, literature and how we are formed to be the human we are.

– Borås Tidning

Beautiful! … Au Pair is a book of poignant beauty in the shadow of the faults one creates by living.

– Aase Berg – Dagens Nyheter

One of the books to talk about this spring … Cecilia Hansson both wants to and dares to go where it hurts most. … Literature can be an experience to open one’s inner heart. And Cecilia Hansson’s linguistic power has the exceptional talent to make this experience universal.

– Svenska Dagbladet