"Writing is like a beast that chases you." | Writer Lina Wolff | Louisiana Channel



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“When you write, you feel so close to the centre of the earth, that you feel the heat” Meet the praised Swedish writer Lina Wolff, who writes dramatic stories about life-and-death situations inspired by Latin American fiction.

Lina Wolff came from a small town in Sweden and longed to go abroad and see the world, so she moved to Rome to study and became an interpreter living in Florence before she moved to Spain. The dynamics of living abroad propelled her to take up writing. “You’re a better writer when you feel alienated and take on the role of the observer.” When the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño passed away, she knew she “had to try my own hand at writing”.

Wolf wouldn’t dare let her real-life situations become as dramatic as in her writing where “anything can happen” and “skyrockets out of reality.” As a writer, you have to write every day, “it becomes a life-and-death-struggle”, where you go deeper and deeper, Wolf feels.

“Writing is like a beast that chases you and isolates you. You’re a bit… not depressed, but it’s hard to write if you’re too happy. If you’re feeling low, you write better. If you’re feeling low and angry, it’s an even better driver.”

“To put it in biblical terms, you can say – that when the darkness is thickest – that’s when you’re deepest in the darkness and confusion of the story. And then you let it go in despair and go to bed and go for a walk the next morning, and then the solution comes to you,” Lina Wolff concludes.

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). Her first novel, ‘Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs’ (2010, 2016), 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, 2022

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

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