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Steve Sem-Sandberg

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Steve Sem-Sandberg
Steve Sem-Sandberg in October 2014
Steve Sem-Sandberg in October 2014
BornSnorre Steve Sem-Sandberg
(1958-08-16) 16 August 1958 (age 65)
Oslo, Norway
Notable works
  • Theres (1996)
  • Allt förgängligt är bara en bild (1999)
  • Ravensbrück (2003)
  • Härifrån till Allmänningen (2005)
  • The Emperor of Lies (2011)
Member of the Swedish Academy
(Seat No. 14)
Assumed office
15 April 2021
Preceded byKristina Lugn

Steve Sem-Sandberg (born 16 August 1958) is a Swedish journalist, novelist, non-fiction writer, and translator. He made his literary debut in 1976 with the two science fiction novels Sländornas värld and Sökare i dödsskuggan.[1] He was awarded the Dobloug Prize for fiction in 2005.[2]

His 2009 novel, The Emperor of Lies, was awarded the August Prize. It recounts the life of the Łódź ghetto and its leader Chaim Rumkowski in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II.[1]

Daphne Merkin in The New York Times said that he had succeeded in writing "a freshly felt, fully absorbing novel about the Holocaust," an even more difficult task as he was writing about a known historical figure in Rumkowski.[3] By combining both intimate views and overall history, he conveys an effect "both super-realist and surrealist, in the manner of an animated documentary."[3]

Awards and honours



  • Sländornas värld and Sökare i dödsskuggan (1976)
  • De ansiktslösa, novel (1987)
  • I en annan del av staden, essays (1990)
  • Den kluvna spegeln, reportage (1991)
  • En lektion i pardans, novel (1993)
  • Theres, novel (1996)
  • "Allt förgängligt är bara en bild", novel (1999)
  • Prag (no exit), essays (2002)
  • Ravensbrück, novel (2003)
  • Härifrån till Allmänningen, novel (2005)
  • The Emperor of Lies (Swedish: De fattiga i Łódź, 2009, published in translation 2011)
  • "Tre romaner" (2011)
  • The Chosen Ones (Swedish: De utvalda, 2014), published in translation 2016
  • The Tempest (Swedish: Stormen, 2016), published in translation 2019[8]
  • W. A novel (Swedish: W., 2019), published in translation 2022


  1. ^ a b Arneberg, Sofie. "Steve Sem-Sandberg". In Godal, Anne Marit (ed.). Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Norsk nettleksikon. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  2. ^ Godal, Anne Marit (ed.). "Doblougprisen". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Norsk nettleksikon. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b Daphne Merkin, "The Man Who Ruled the Lodz Ghetto", New York Times, 4 September 2011, accessed 17 May 2013
  4. ^ Doblougprisen (Store norske leksikon)
  5. ^ "Edition 2013". Jan Michalski Foundation. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  6. ^ M.A.O. (14 September 2013). "Jan Michalski Prize shortlist". complete review. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  7. ^ Vincy Thomas (2 November 2016). "Le Médicis 2016 couronne Ivan Jablonka, Jacques Henric et Steve Sem-Sandberg". Livres Hebdo. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  8. ^ "An island's dark secrets: The Tempest, by Steve Sem-Sandberg, reviewed". The Spectator. 9 February 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
Cultural offices
Preceded by Swedish Academy,
Seat No.14