Jerker Virdborg

"Jerker Virdborg is an outstanding writer. His novels are narrative masterpieces perfectly crafted for maximum impact." DN


2015 – Air Raid Shelter on Lux Street (Skyddsrummet Luxgatan)
Originally published in Swedish by Albert Bonnier.
192 pages.
General Fiction

Air Raid Shelter on Lux Street

Original title: Skyddsrummet Luxgatan

In a Småland ravaged by civil war, a man braves militia checkpoints in his search for his family. In an occupied Stockholm a boy peddles his mother’s prescription drugs while brutal security guards patrol the subway. And in another city thousands of people endure an air raid in a claustrophobic bomb shelter.

Is this really Sweden?

Air Raid Shelter on Lux Street is a collection of stories about a country where nothing is familiar anymore. The known has been invaded, a worldview has been shattered and safety has become a luxury. Story after story slams against the walls we have built to protect ourselves and shockwaves and disaster slowly begin to seep in through the cracks.

While directing our gaze to the burning present, Jerker Virdborg also leads us into unstable spaces, charged with existential tension and yawning depths. With Air Raid Shelter on Lux Street, he consolidates his position as one of the most original writers of his generation.

Press voices:

“… extremely accomplished literature: a clutch of effectively narrated chillers. Virdborg inserts the Balkan wars, Boko Haram, Syria and Baghdad into our modern Swedish reality and forces us to follow him to the edge of the abyss. /…/ The attention to detail is eerily evocative from start to finish.” SYDSVENSKAN

“It is that feeling, so lethal to our democracy, that Jerker Virdborg captures in 190 well-wrought pages. A dystopia that already envelopes us.” AFTONBLADET

“Jerker Virdborg is an outstanding writer. His novels are narrative masterpieces perfectly crafted for maximum impact. /…/ The book is supremely topical. It resonates with both resumed global rearmament and constant alarmist reports of security risks, terrorist attacks, Russian threats and social breakdown.” DAGENS NYHETER

2012 – City of Flames (Staden och lågorna)
Originally published in Swedish by Albert Bonniers förlag.
408 pages.
General fiction
Sales sheet (PDF)

City of Flames

Original title: Staden och lågorna

Ever since his debut with the short story collection Landhöjning två centimeter per natt, Jerker Virdborg has explored the unpredictability of the innermost human mind, as well as what manages to slip through into the external world. In the novel Mannen på Trinisla this other world came into close focus in the form of a messenger in a craft unmarked by time or history. Also in Försvinnarna and in his latest novel Kall feber, reality is affected by unexpected forces – in both cases of a distinctly human kind – entering our lives and affecting our capacity for understanding. 

In City of Flames we move through a nightmarish border country between contemporary and historical settings. Also between life and death.
Viktor falls overboard in the harbour near his home town and is saved at the last moment from drowning. However, the inn where he wakes up is both strange and frightening. He quickly runs up a debt and is bullied and kept locked up until he can pay what he owes. When at long last he gets out into the lanes, nothing is as it used to be – he is out of step with his own time and, in vain, tries to remember why he came here at all. 

City of Flames is a Kafkaesque tale of wandering through a place that should be ordinary and familiar, yet where all the violence absorbed by the lanes in their 800-year history seems to play out at one and the same time. Viktor, increasingly powerless, is slowly forced closer and closer to the inherent catastrophe of the place: the great fire. 

"An exciting, remarkable and at the same time crystal clear narrative. If possible, this new novel is an even more impressive achievement than the author’s previous books.” (UNT, Magnus Dahlerus)

"As exciting as a thriller from the first page of Jerker Virdborg’s new novel, ‘Staden och lågorna’.
Virdborg is the great epic writer of his generation and here he further consolidates this position. (…) ‘Staden och lågorna’ is a real page-turner." (Arbetarbladet, Dan Sjögren)

"Certainly one’s thoughts frequently turn to Kafka, but almost as much I am reminded of ‘Crime and Punishment’. Viktor, just as Raskolnikov, moves through a feverish haze, hunted as much by his own demons as by an outside threat. Plans are forged only to be changed, things are forgotten only to come back later with terrifying clarity. And when the catastrophe finally presents itself, all the pieces fall into place with ferocious power: at its very deepest level, ‘Staden och lågorna’ is a personal tale of guilt and redemption, of walking through fire in both a literal and metaphorical sense. And as such it is absolutely splendid." (Sydsvenskan, Amanda Svensson)

“Accomplished and well written in the sense of both functioning as a suspense novel and a historical work. There is something Kafkaesque in Viktor’s fruitless attempt to fulfill his task and get out of the city – also out of the epoch which only reveals itself in the resolution of the story. He struggles through a world of violence, excrement, horses, dogs, tar torches, wooden barrels and executions, a world as enclosed as a labyrinth, a dream or maybe even unconsciousness?” (Kulturnytt, Maria Edström)

2009 – Cold Fever (Kall feber)
Originally published in Swedish by Albert Bonniers förlag.
251 pages.
General fiction

Cold Fever

Original title: Kall feber

Description coming soon.