Much has been written about the art of writing essays, author Fredrik Sjöberg doesn’t waste paper with quotes, dates and footnotes but simply writes some. He explains that one needs a hook to capture the readers so that in the end they learn something new without even noticing they have just been reading an essay. And before you knew it Sjöberg captures you in the said way and you understand a lot more about essay writing than you would have when reading a whole textbook about it.

You can sense the entomologist and collector, when reading his essays, because Sjöberg looks at an object from all the different angles to highlight its details. When he picks up the scent of a story he follows the track and takes to intricate paths until he finds a story that is worth telling. This can be Lenin’s visit in Stockholm, the almost forgotten story of a toy maker from Nuremberg or the nomenclature of human genitals.

Sjöberg’s essays surmount the drawn up border between nature and culture, they provide you with unnecessary knowledge and give answers to the big questions of life. He interweaves anecdotes with personal experiences and historic events and enthralls the reader with his characteristic humorous, charming and witty style.

At the end you’ll understand what green polar bears have to do with a flowstone cave in Germany and young Sjöberg’s moped and why it’s always worth to keep going.


Fredrik Sjöberg will be awarded the Essay Prize 2015 by the Swedish Academy.

He was awarded the Gerard Bonniers Essäpris 2013 for Varför håller man på?

The author: Fredrik Sjöberg would certainly describe himself as a solitary person. He is one of the friendliest wolves in sheep’s clothing, a biologist, an honorary professor at several universities, author of a now long series of books, which he dedicated to the theme of passion in many different ways. His books have been translated into ten languages.


Albert Bonniers Förlag 2011