This Swedish writer and cultural journalist is the author of eight novels, including two critically highly acclaimed ‘hypothetical novels’: The Kafka Pavilion and I Was an Aryan. Among other things the author asks questions concerning fascism and the role of intellectuals in society. Tony Samuelsson made his debut in 1989 with the novel Seymour, has also published books for young readers, short stories, and a collection of essays on literature and reading. The depiction of social classes is a repeated theme in his works. He writes of ordinary people in work and at home, interested in their search for a sense of belonging. Tony Samuelsson has won several Swedish literary prizes, including the Ivar Lo Prize. In 2015 he was also nominated for the prestigious Swedish Radio Literary Prize.
The Kafka Pavilion
After Hitler’s victory in the Second World War Sweden is a vassal Nazi state. “Ordinary people” more or less happily live their ordinary lives, while “brachycephalics”, condemned to be eliminated from the gene pool, languish in ghettos, and writers have to decide – will they serve the new Sweden? The length of their stay in this enclosed “writers’ colony” depends entirely on their willingness to fully serve the new regime. The novel from the genre of alternative history deals with issues of personal responsibility, freedom, interpersonal relations and the (redeeming?) strength of literature and culture as a whole. Here we can find parallels both to the past (including among others the Czechoslovak period of normalisation) and also the current situation in Europe. Because sliding into a society where everyone is equal but some are more equal than others is so easy.