Visiting Writers 2015

Carin Svensson

Carin Svensson

Carin Svensson lives in Sweden, but visits New Zealand regularly and she has been a visiting writer at the Michael King Writers' Centre several times.

She started writing in the 1980s while living in New Zealand. She had her first poems and short stories published in Islands and Landfall. A short story collection (One Plain, One Purl) was published by New Womens Press in 1989 and a novel by the same publisher a year later (An Unusually Clumsy Lover).  A reviewer wrote once – ”we are lucky to have Svensson here”.

Carin says "That made (me) quite euphoric like a soccer player having scored a most successful goal."

However in 1991 she left New Zealand for Sweden and married Swedish writer Lars Ardelius. She kept writing under her maiden name but now in Swedish. She has written one short story collection (Kalenderflickorna, 1998) based in New Zealand and five more novels. One of these (Silversalt, 2002) is set in Little Huia, northwest of Auckland and is based on the writer´s own experience of living with a hippy-like film crew in an old farmhouse while shooting a 16 mm featurefilm (Test Pictures, 1972).

Carin Svensson has also translated Janet Frame into Swedish – The ReservoirLiving in the Maniototo (being republished in a new edition in 2014) CK Stead's Death of the Bodyand Alan Duff's Once were Warriors.

She has written three non-fiction books in Swedish for young adults about such varied subjects as Charles Darwin, Marie Curie and the history of Cosa Nostra in Sicily.

More information can be found (in Swedish, with English translation available) on her publisher's web site:

Carin wrote about staying at Michael King Writers Centre:

"I feel as if I have been staying in a five star hotel but better. More like a five star home, very comfortable and with outstanding views of course. In this home every little detail has been attended to, everything I needed I found – even tennis racketts – not that I play but just in case. I am sad that my three weeks went so fast although I am happy that I got so much work done.

"I have completed a 20-page synopsis for a book about Leonardo da Vinci for young adults and continued writing on a novel about one of Charles and Emma Darwins daughters – the most ”enigmatic” of their ten children. Much to my own surprise I even wrote a poem in English about Cheltenham Beach!"

April  2015