Trotzig, Birgitta

Trotzig, Birgitta Image 1

Unknown photographer, Wikimedia

Birgitta Trotzig, born in Gothenburg in 1929 and died in Lund in 2011. She was one of Sweden's most celebrated authors, and wrote prose fiction and non-fiction, as well as prose poetry.
Trotzig was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, as an only child. The family lived initially with her maternal grandparents in Gothenburg, later moving to the small southern city of Kristianstad, where her parents' parents worked as teachers. She graduated from grammar/high school in 1948. Trotzig returned to Gothenburg and studied literary history. She began writing for the newspaper "Aftonbladet" and for the literary magazine "Bonniers Litterära Magasin".

She married artist and sculptor Ulf Trotzig and lived in Paris from 1955 to 1969 with her husband; during this period she converted to Roman Catholicism. Through her conversion, she gained access to various aspects of French culture and to Christian and Jewish mysticism; she became very interested in San Juan de la Cruz and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
Birgitta Trotzig was the recipient of many literary prizes, amongst others the Övralid Prize in 1997 and was elected to the Swedish Academy in 1993. Birgitta Trotzig lived in Lund and remained active in public life and with the various projects of the Swedish Academy for much of her later life.

Trotzig was one of Sweden's most renowned modern writers, having written several novels in which she gave voice to her Catholic faith (though her perspective is said to have been existential rather than Christian) and her dark visions. Returning themes are the death and resurrection of love. Among her novels are Sjukdomen ("The Illness") (made into the movie Kejsaren, "The Emperor," in 1979) and Dykungens dotter ("The Mud King's daughter") (1985). She also wrote essays and articles on poetry, and works of prose poems: Anima (1982) and Sammanhang ("Contexts") (1996).