Published in 1978, ‘Pubertet‘ (“Puberty”) is a memoir by Swedish author Ivar Lo-Johansson that won the ‘Nordic Council Literature Prize‘ in 1979. The author’s parents were rural workers in Södermanland, and in his many short stories and novels he repeatedly returned to his growing up in this environment, therefore Lo-Johansson is considered one of the greatest figures in Swedish working-class literature. He wrote in an expansive, epic style, in which he united a dispassionate, almost scientific view and a strong emotional commitment to the outsiders (the exploited and suffering humans in the low layers of society). ‘Pubertet’ is the first part of a series of memoirs in four volumes in which the author reminiscences his youth, a time during which he dreamt of becoming a writer, but also felt the consequences of leaving a secure, yet restricted and limited community that surrounded him. The balanced attitude between his own personal experience and the developments seen from a collective viewpoint is impressive. According to the Adjudicating Committee, in his autobiographical work “Pubertet” the Swedish author Ivar Lo-Johansson describes his upbringing and social environment with openness, tenderness and sensual power.
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