Selected Stories

Stig Dagerman (1923–1954) is regarded as the most talented young writer of the Swedish post-war generation. By the 1940s, his fiction, plays, and journalism had catapulted him to the forefront of Swedish letters, with critics comparing him to William Faulkner, Franz Kafka, and Albert Camus. His suicide at the age of thirty-one was a national tragedy. This selection, containing a number of new translations of Dagerman’s stories never before published in English, is unified by the theme of the loss of innocence. Often narrated from a child’s perspective, the stories give voice to childhood’s tender state of receptiveness and joy tinged with longing and loneliness.

Dagerman wrote with beautiful objectivity. Instead of emotive phrases, he uses a choice of facts, like bricks, to construct an emotion.
Graham Greene

An imagination that appeals to an unreasonable degree of sympathy is precisely what makes Dagerman’s fiction so evocative. Evocative not, as one might expect, of despair, or bleakness, or existential angst, but of compassion, fellow-feeling, even love.
—from the preface by Alice McDermott

Stig Dagerman writes with the tension that belongs to emergency—deliberately, precisely, breathlessly. To read Dagerman is to read with your whole body—lungs, heart, viscera, as well as mind. At once remote and intimate in tone, these works by one of the great twentieth-century writers come fully to life in a remarkable translation by Steven Hartman.
Siri Hustvedt, author of The Summer Without Men

Stig Dagerman’s fearless, moving stories should be placed alongside the short fiction of such luminaries as James Joyce, Anton Chekhov, and Raymond Carver. You’ll find yourself holding your breath in wonder as you read, grateful to Dagerman (and Steven Hartman) for the gift of these stories.
Edward Schwarzschild, author of The Family Diamond

This title is now available as an eBook through Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and other eBook retailers.

Alice McDermott, Bethesda writer.
©Patrice Gilbert   May 2008

Alice McDermott (born June 27, 1953) is an American writer and university professor. For her 1998 novel Charming Billy she won anAmerican Book Award and the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. McDermott is Johns Hopkins University’s Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities.

McDermott was born in Brooklyn, New York. She attended St. Boniface School in Elmont, New York, on Long Island (1967), Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead (1971), and the State University of New York at Oswego, receiving her BA in 1975, and received her MA from theUniversity of New Hampshire in 1978.

She has taught at UCSD and American University, has been a writer-in-residence at Lynchburg College and Hollins College in Virginia, and was lecturer in English at the University of New Hampshire. Her short stories have appeared in Ms., Redbook, Mademoiselle, The New Yorker and Seventeen. She has also published articles in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Alice McDermott lives outside Washington, D.C. with her husband, a neuroscientist, and three children.