Karin Boye

Karin Boye Stadsbiblioteket, Götaplatsen, Göteborg, Sweden
Karin Boye
Stadsbiblioteket, Götaplatsen, Göteborg, Sweden

Karin Boye
Stadsbiblioteket, Götaplatsen, Göteborg, Sweden

On 23 April 1941, Göteborg-born Karin Boye left her home and travelled deep into the Swedish countryside. There, she found a boulder, curled herself up next to it and swallowed the sleeping pills that would take her life. She was just 41. In the years she’d had, she’d founded a literary magazine, been a prominent member of Swedish socialist groups and translated the works of surrealist British poets into her native tongue. But most importantly, she’d created her own poetry, her own novels. Yes, there is goal and meaning in our path – but it’s the way that is the labour’s worth, she wrote in the poem On the Move. Karin’s own path ended too soon, overtaken by depression. But her labour’s worth is felt in Sweden to this day, in the university departments named after her and in the rich legacy of her writing.

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