"Don’t think your mother will not like your book." | Writer Lina Wolff | Louisiana Channel



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“When I published my first book, I thought it was going to be tough for my mother. That her daughter is not a nice person, but a dark demon. But she liked my book. So don’t think your mother will not like your book.” The acclaimed Swedish writer Lina Wolff shares her advice.

Firstly, Lina Wolff recommends a piece of advice once given by French writer Michel Houellebecq who was asked, ‘How do you dare to write what you write?’ And he answered, saying: ‘I just pretend I am dead once it is going to be published’. Wolff likes Houellebecq’s advice very much but then considers that it might not be the best for an emerging writer to think they are dead.

Instead, she recommends a piece of good advice from Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño: Don’t let yourself be bitter, because when you start writing, everything is fun, but then it will get tough. So, don’t get bitter and try to cultivate that initial happiness and the reason you started writing in the first place. So, when you get stuck, go back to that happiness: What was fun, what did I do? Go back to those initial feelings. And don’t give up and always rewrite. I rewrite my texts fifty times, perhaps because nothing is perfect from the beginning, and you have to go over it again and again.

Lina Wolff (b. 1973) is a Swedish novelist and short story writer who has lived and worked in Italy and Spain. During her years in Valencia and Madrid, she wrote her short story collection ‘Many People Die Like You’ (Swedish edition 2009, English 2020). ‘Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs’, (2010, 2016), her first novel, was awarded the Vi Magazine Literature Prize and shortlisted for the prestigious 2013 Swedish Radio Award for Best Novel of the Year. Wolff’s second novel, ‘The Polyglot Lovers’, was published in Sweden in 2016 and English in 2019. It received the premier award for Swedish literature, the August Prize. Lina Wolff now lives in southern Sweden. Her latest title is the lauded ‘Carnality’.

Lina Wolff was interviewed by Danish writer Peter Adolphsen in August 2021 in connection with the Louisiana Literature festival, at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, in Denmark.

Camera and edit: Jakob Solbakken

Produced by Christian Lund

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2021

Supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling.

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