Karin Boye

Karin Boye (Karin Maria Boye, 26 October 1900 – 24 April 1941) was a Swedish writer.

She studied literary history, Greek and Scandinavian languages at Uppsala University.  From 1928 to 1930, Karin was a member of the anti-Fascist group Clarté League and of the student group Poets’ Corner. She also wrote for the student periodical Ergo. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Uppsala, Boye got a Bachelor of Arts degree in history at the Stockholm University. Together with Erik Mesterton and Josef Riwkin, she started the literary magazine Spektrum in 1931.

In 1929, she married Leif Björck, another Clarté member, but they divorced in 1932, and Karin went to have a love relationship with Gunnel Bergström, wife of the poet Gunnar Ekelöf. While in Berlin, between 1932 – 1933, Boye met Margot Hanel, with whom she lived for the rest of her life.

Boye committed suicide in 1941, overdosing on sleeping pills. Shortly after Boyes’s death, Hanel also committed suicide, by gas poisoning.

Books

In English
In Swedish
Novels
  • Astarte, 1931
  • Merit vaknar, 1933
  • Kris, 1934
  • För lite, 1936
  • Kallocain, 1940
Poetry
  • Moln, 1922
  • Gömda land, 1924
  • Härdarna, 1927
  • För trädets skull, 1935
  • De sju dödssynderna, 1941 (not completed, posthumous)

Short stories

  • Uppgörelser, 1934
  • Ur function, 1940
  • Bebådelse, 1941

 Letters

  • Ett verkligt jordiskt liv: brev / urval och kommentarer: Paulina Helgeson, 2000

About her

  • Karin Boye. Minnen och studier, ed. M. Abenius, O. Lagercrantz (1942)
  • Drabbad av renhet. En bok om Karin Boyes liv och diktning, by Margit Abenius (1950)
  • A History of Swedish Literature, by A. Gustafson (1961)
  • Guide to Women’s Literature throughout the World, ed. Claire Buck (1992)
  • A History of Swedish Literature, ed. Lars G. Warme (1996)
  • Swedish Women’s Writing, 1850-1995, by Helena Forsås-Scott (1997)
  • Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, Vol. 1, ed. Steven R. Serafin (1999)
  • “Att skapa en ny värld”: samhällsyn, kvinnosyn och djuppsykologi hos Karin Boye, by Barbro Gustafsson Rosenqvist (1999)
  • Bryt upp! Bryt upp!: Karin Boye 1900-2000, by Björn Julén, Pia-Kristina Garde, Örjan Svedberg (2000)
  • Karin Boye och hennes man, by Kaj Björk (2011)
  • Karin Boye och människorna omkring henne: en fotobok, by Pia-Kristina Garde (2011)
  • “Women readers, food and the cunsumption of text: Karin Boye’s Kris and Monika Fagerholm’s Diva”, by Amanda Doxtater, in Gender, power, text: Nordic culture in the twentieth century, ed. Helena Forsas-Scott (2004)
  • “Karin Boye: posthumous excuses”, by Paulina Helgeson, Scandinavica (40), 2001
  • “‘All that is nameless and new’: exploring queer paths in Karin Boye’s poetry”, by Ellen Mortensen, Scandinavica (40), 2001
  • I oss är en mångfald levande: Karin Boye som kritiker och prosamodernist, by Gunilla Domellöf (1986)
  • “Karin Boye in Berlin, oder: Versuch der Neubewertung einer zur Heiligen stilisierten lesbischen Schriftstellerin”, by Pia Garde, in Eldorado: Homosexuelle Frauen und Männer in Berlin 1850-1950. Geschichte, Alltag und Kultur. Ausstellungskatalog, ed. Michael Bollé, Rolf Bothe (1984)
  • An Encyclopedia of Continental Women Writers, by Katharina M. Wilson (1991)
  • Den nya dagen gryr: Karin Boyes författarliv, by Johan Svedjedal (2017)

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