Scandinavians: In Search of the Soul of the North (Paperback)
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Scandinavia is the epitome of cool: from IKEA to hygge, Hamlet to the latest bestselling crime novel, the region’s cultural influence is vast. But how valid is this outsider’s view of Scandinavia, and how accurate is our picture of life in Scandinavia today? Enter Robert Ferguson’s Scandinavians, an ambitious work of history and cultural comment that follows a chronological progression across the Northern centuries: from the Vendel era of Swedish prehistory all the way through Scandinavia’s postwar social democratic nirvana and the terror attacks of Anders Behring Beivik.Scandinavians is also a personal investigation, with award-winning author Robert Ferguson as the ideal companion as he explores wide-ranging topics such as the power and mystique of Scandinavian women, from the Valkyries to the Vikings; from Nora and Hedda to Garbo and Bergman. Employing a digressive technique that deftly “combines the factual and the intimate” (Publishers Weekly), recalling the writings of W.G. Sebald, Scandinavians provides unequaled access to the society, politics, culture and temperament of modern Scandinavia.
About the Author
Robert Ferguson worked at a number of jobs including postman, hospital porter, deckhand on a trawler, factory worker, cook, driver etc before enrolling as a student at UCL, London in 1976 and taking a course in Scandinavian Studies. He graduated in 1980. In 1983 he emigrated to Norway and has made his home there since. He began his literary career as a radio dramatist, translating and adapting for radio works by Knut Hamsun and Henrik Ibsen for the BBC. He has also written eleven original radio plays and twice won the BBC Methuen Giles Cooper Award for Best Radio Drama, in 1984 and 1986. His first literary biography was Enigma: The Life of Knut Hamsun, which was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Best Biography Award in 1987. It also won the University of London J.G.Robertson Award. In 1996 Enigma was dramatized as a 6-part television series by NRK (Norwegian State Television) As well as literary biographies and a history of the Vikings, Ferguson has written two novels, published only in Norwegian.