Mirja Unge

Photo of Mirja Unge

One of Sweden’s most exciting young female writers, Mirja Unge was born in 1973. She received the Katapult Award for her critically acclaimed first novel, Det var ur munnarna orden kom [Out of Your Mouth the Words Come], 1998, and in 2000 she published Järnnätter [Anticlockwise]. The same year her novel Motsols [Tide] was shortlisted for the Swedish Radio Award. Amongst her most devoted fans are younger audiences whose problems she deals with in her works (particularly the confusing experiences of young girls growing up). In 2006 she made her playwriting debut with Var är alla [Where is Everyone?], a play about what happens when erotic charge gets out of hand.

Titles by Mirja Unge

It Was Just, Yesterday cover image

It Was Just, Yesterday

On Christmas Eve, a girl stalks an older man through wintery city streets, haunted by their shared past...

In a remote woodland cottage, an eccentric explains to his granddaughter why he shoots cats whenever they make themselves too comfortable...

In a checkout queue, a woman suddenly shows charity to a penniless guy she apparently doesn’t know...

The characters in Mirja Unge’s debut collection are all, in their own way, evading something; whether failing to confront the true nature of an encounter, or avoiding responsibilities as a parent, sibling or friend. Abuse, betrayal and neglect lurk beneath a veneer of mutually maintained ‘normality’, waiting for an opportunity to resurface.

Told, in most cases, through the eyes of teenage girls or young women, these stories exhibit a unique prose style that perfectly captures the conversational rhythms, and preoccupations, of their generation. Unge’s soft, winding syntax ushers the reader across the surface of each encounter at an unalterable pace — like the ever-betraying passage of time — whilst deftly hinting at the violence beneath.

‘A breathtaking and intensive read, full of warmth, humour and darkness.’ — Moa Eriksson, Hallandsposten

‘Mirja Unge has once again convinced me that she is one of the most important writers in Sweden today.’ — Eva Hultin, Nerikes Allehanda

'Unge can do a lot with a little.' - The Guardian, Best Short Stories of 2011.

'It Was Just, Yesterday is both atmospheric and menacing.' - The Manchester Review, Read the full review here.

'Unge has an unusual and arresting style that is worthy of recognition. At times, there is real beauty in her writing which often showcases a deeply poetic style and thrusts you into an atmosphere, a world, or a conflict with ease and immediacy.' - Kate Kerrow, The Short Review

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  • ISBN 9781905583379
  • Publisher Comma Press
  • Genre Short Fiction
  • Extent 224pp

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