Published in 2006, ‘Drömfakulteten’ (‘The Dream Faculty’) is a novel by Swedish writer Sara Stridsberg that received the ‘Nordic Council Literature Prize‘ in 2007. Sara Stridsberg made her debut as a writer with her critically acclaimed novel ‘Happy Sally’ (2004), a story about Sally Bauer, the first Scandinavian to swim the English Channel, and has also worked as a journalist and playwright. ‘Drömfakulteten’ was published in 2006 as Sara Stridsberg’s second novel – a fictitious story about Valerie Solanas, the woman who, for posterity, will be known for having written the extremely feminist manifesto SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) in the 1960s. The fictitious story in’ Drömfakulteten’ is that Sara Stridsberg visits Valerie Solanas at the end of her life in a hotel room in the red-light district in San Francisco. There, Valerie Solanas tells the author her authentic story. We follow Valerie Solanas through her difficult childhood and up through life. In the 1960s, she met Andy Warhol and their cooperation ended up in an attempted murder on the artist. Valerie Solanas was committed to a mental hospital and later went to prison, before dying at the age of 52 in a hotel room where the author meets her in the novel. In 2011 the novel was also voted as the best Swedish novel from the 2000s (decade) in a poll held by the newspaper ‘Dagens Nyheter’, which involved one hundred Swedish critics, authors, journalists and publishers. The English translation, ‘The Faculty of Dreams’, by Deborah Bragan-Turner, was nominated in March 2019 for the British Man Booker International Prize. According to the Adjudicating Committee, ‘Drömfakulteten’ is a passionate novel of great depth. Its narrative revolves around the ultra-feminist icon Valeri Solanas and her tragic life story: Stridsberg mixes documentary material and free fiction in a feverishly vibrant prose. Borne by a tremendous energy and linguistic lust, the story constitutes a blistering showdown with the various repressive mechanisms society employs.
Books, Culture, Literature, Society, Sweden