Jonas Hassen Khemiri

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Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Jonas Hassen Khemiri in August 2014.jpg
Jonas Hassen Khemiri in August 2014
Born (1978-12-27) 27 December 1978 (age 38)
Stockholm, Sweden
Period 2003–

Jonas Hassen Khemiri (born 27 December 1978 in Stockholm) is an award-winning Swedish novelist and playwright. He has been named one of the most important Swedish writers of his generation.[1]


Khemiri was a student at Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) from the fall semester of 1999, where he pursued the master's program in business administration.

Khemiri's debut novel, Ett öga rött (One Eye Red), was published in 2003. It was met with rave reviews from critics, sold over 200,000 copies in Sweden and became the best-selling novel of any category in 2004.[2]

Khemiri's second novel, Montecore: en unik tiger (Montecore - The Silence of the Tiger), received Sveriges Radio's Novel Prize (Sveriges Radios Romanpris) for Best Swedish Novel of 2007.[3][4]

Khemiri's first play, Invasion!, was written for the Stockholm City Theatre. It was chosen for the 2007 Swedish Theater Biennial and has been performed in France, Germany, the UK, and Norway.[5] Khemiri has also written the plays God Times Five for Riksteatern and We Who Are Hundred, which opened at Gothenburg City Theatre in 2009[3] and won the Hedda Award, Norway's top theatrical award, for the best play of 2010.[6]

Khemiri's novels have been translated into German, French, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, Hungarian, Italian, and Russian. Montecore: The Silence of the Tiger was published by Knopf in the US in 2011.[3][7]

In 2013, Khemiri wrote an open letter to Sweden's Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask in response to a controversial immigration program, REVA. The letter, titled "Dear Beatrice Ask", was published in Sweden's biggest daily paper, Dagens Nyheter[8] and became a social media phenomenon, with more than 120 000 likes on Facebook[9] and more than half a million clicks on the article online.[10] The letter was written as part of a debate about racial profiling in Sweden.

Personal life[edit]

Khemiri's father hails from Tunisia and his mother is Swedish.[11] His younger brother is actor Hamadi Khemiri.[12]


  • Ett öga rött (novel, 2003)
  • Montecore : en unik tiger (novel, 2006)
  • Invasion! : pjäser, noveller, texter (2008)
  • Så som du hade berättat det för mig (ungefär) om vi hade lärt känna varandra innan du dog (short story, 2011)
  • Jag ringer mina bröder (novel, 2012)
  • Allt jag inte minns (novel, 2015)


  • Borås Tidning's Debutant Prize (Borås tidnings debutantpris) for best Swedish literary debut (2004)
  • Per Olov Enquist's Prize (P O Enquists pris) for young authors on the way up in Europe (2006)[13]
  • VI magazine's Literary Prize (Tidningen VI:s litteraturpris) (2006)[14]
  • Colombine scholarship (2006)[15]
  • Tidningen CITY’s literary award (2006)[15]
  • Sveriges Radio's Novel Prize (Sveriges Radios Romanpris) (2006)
  • Stipend from the Gerard Bonnier Fund of the Swedish Academy (2007, shared with Pauline Wolff)
  • The Bellman Prize (Bellmanpriset) of the Swedish Academy (2007)[16]
  • Swedish Radio’s Prize for best Swedish Short Story (Sveriges Radios Novellpris) for "Oändrat oändlig" (2008)[17]
  • Hedda Award for best play (2010)
  • John Fante Literary Prize (2010)[18]

International residencies[edit]

  • Ledig House, Hudson, New York (2004)
  • International Residency for Emerging Playwrights at Royal Court, London (2006)
  • DAAD, Writer in Residence, Berlin (2009)


  1. ^ "Inside Sweden Meets Jonas Hassen Khemiri"[permanent dead link], Radio Sweden 29 August 2008
  2. ^ "Ett öga rött belönad med pocketpris" Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine., Helsingborgs Dagblad 7 March 2005 (Swedish)
  3. ^ a b c Tsemaye Opubor Hambraeus, "Khemiri brings contemporary Sweden to new audiences",, 14 November 2008.
  4. ^ Olle Sjöberg, "SR:s romanpris till Khemiri: Jonas Hassen Khemiri får Sveriges Radios romanpris 2007 för sin bok 'Montecore'", Dagens Nyheter 1 March 2007 (Swedish)
  5. ^ Archiv 2008 Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine., Theater Heute (German)
  6. ^ Heddaprisen 2010, NTO Aktuelt, Norsk Teater- og Orkesterforening (Norwegian)
  7. ^ Trans. Rachel Willson-Broyles, 2011, ISBN 978-0-307-27095-5
  8. ^ Jonas Hassen Khemiri: Bästa Beatrice Ask Dagens Nyheter, 13 March 2013 (Swedish)
  9. ^ David Landes: A writer who dared a minister to get in his skin The Local, 14 March 2013
  10. ^ Björn Wiman: Björn Wiman: Kom ihåg Khemiris ord inför valet Dagens Nyheter, 15 March 2013 (Swedish)
  11. ^[permanent dead link]
  12. ^
  13. ^ Linus Larsson, "Khemiri får årets P O Enquist-pris: Årets P O Enquist-pris går till författaren Jonas Hassen Khemiri för såväl 'språklig förnyelseförmåga som modet att gestalta oerhört centrala erfarenheter i dagens svenska samhälle'", Dagens Nyheter 19 May 2006 (Swedish)
  14. ^ "Vi:s litteraturpristagare 1947-2009", Vi, retrieved 21 February 2011
  15. ^ a b Biography, Jonas Hassen Khemiri
  16. ^ Eva-Karin Gyllenberg, "Bellmanpriset till Jonas Hassen Khemiri", Dagens Nyheter 2 May 2007 (Swedish)
  17. ^ "Jonas Hassen Khemiri vann novellpris", Svenska Dagbladet 27 September 2008 (Swedish)
  18. ^ "Premio John Fante: Khemiri vince nella categoria 'Autore tra due mondi'", 19 July 2010 (Italian)

External links[edit]