The Antarctica of Love – Sara Stridsberg


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“We drove through a tunnel of rain and flowers and trees and the world now was this one place, this single chamber, a grave and a coffin, a wall of trees that all would soon be dead. But first I had to die.”

She has been in the world for a brief moment, a world with needs, demands and fears. Until someone decided to snuff out her life and strew the landscape with her body parts. But there are still the children, who were hers once, Valle and Solveig, taken into the care of the authorities and placed somewhere along the length of Sweden. And there are still her parents, Raksha and Ivan, roaming through Stockholm in their departed daughter’s former world. And there is still the moment of death, which will never end, ever.

Because this is what happens. The first time she dies is in the forest, when her heart stops at his hands, the second time she dies is when all that is left of her is lowered into the ground, the third time will be when someone says her name for the last time on earth. She is waiting for that to happen. And as much as she wishes the voices still prattling on about her savage earthly fate would hush, she wishes one of her children would say “mum” and mean her.

Sara Stridsberg’s new novel is about absolute vulnerability; about brutality, isolation and a mother’s love. About what is left when everything else has gone. Antarctica of Love is a heartrending existential drama in which the characteristic blend of Stridsberg’s great literary weight and her readability creates an original mix of terror and beauty, longing and black despair. A devastating story of unexpected love, tenderness and light in the total darkness.


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