Sara Lidman

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Sara Lidman
Sara Lidman, c. 1960
Sara Lidman, c. 1960
Born Sara Adéla Lidman
(1923-12-30)30 December 1923
Missenträsk, Sweden
Died 17 June 2004(2004-06-17) (aged 80)
Umeå, Sweden
Nationality Swedish
Period 1953–2003
Spouse Hans Gösta Skarby

Sara Lidman (30 December 1923 – 17 June 2004) was a Swedish writer.

Early life[edit]

Born in the village Missenträsk in the northern parts of Skellefteå Municipality, Lidman was raised in the Västerbotten region of northern Sweden. She studied at the University of Uppsala where her studies were interrupted when she contracted tuberculosis. She achieved her first great success with the novel Tjärdalen (The Tar Still). In this novel and in her second novel Hjortronlandet she depicts themes such as alienation and loneliness. In her early novels, she focused on the difficult conditions for poor farmers in the northern Swedish province Västerbotten during the nineteenth century.


Sara Lidman is arguably one of the most important writers of the Swedish language in the twentieth century. This is especially so because of her innovative way of combining the spoken vernaculars with Biblical language in a way closely tied to a certain kind of popular imaginary, while also integrating the worldly and the spiritual. In connection with her first four novels, she wrote extensively on political subjects, always with a strongly socialist tendency. She engaged in protest against the Vietnam War (including traveling to North Vietnam and participating in the Russell Tribunal) and apartheid in South Africa. She supported the widely influential miners strikes of 1969–1970 and was active in the Communist the environmentalist movements. Between 1977 and 1985, she wrote a series of seven novels that dealing with the colonization process of the North of Sweden.

She was awarded a number of prizes, including the Nordic Council's Literature Prize for her work Vredens barn.

Sara Lidman


  • Tjärdalen, 1953. (The Tar Still)
  • Hjortronlandet, 1955. (Cloudberry Land)
  • Regnspiran, 1958. (The Rain Bird) translated by Elspeth Harley Schubert, Hutchinson, 1963
  • Bära mistel, 1960.
  • Jag och min son, 1961. (My Son and I)
  • Med fem diamanter, 1964. (With Five Diamonds), 1971.
  • Samtal i Hanoi, 1966, Reporting. (Conversations in Hanoi), 1967.
  • Gruva, 1968, Interviews.
  • Marta, Marta, 1970, Drama.
  • Din tjänare hör, 1977. (Thy Servant Is Listening)
  • Vredens barn, 1979.
  • Nabots sten, 1981. (Naboth's Stone) translated by Joan Tate, Norvik Press, 1989
  • Den underbare mannen, 1983.
  • Järnkronan, 1985. (The Iron Crown)
  • Lifsens rot, 1996. (The Root of Life)
  • Oskuldens minut, 1999.
  • Kropp och själ, 2003.