Well, not so much a bundle as a Jiffy bag. But it came all the way from Sweden, and it’s certainly a joy. It’s Emma Lundenmark’s brand new novel Storknästet (The Stork’s Nest).

Lundenmark is a leading light of the Stockholm Surrealist Group. She’s long been a fount of beautiful things, including poetry, film, theatre, and the wonderful short story collection Hans Fru Judith (His Wife Judith).

The bad news is that English translations of Lundenmark’s writing are rarer than hens’ dentures (although she and I worked together on a translation of Hans Fru Judith‘s title story for Hydrolith back in 2010).

So here’s your mission for the final few weeks of 2021: learn Swedish so that you can read Lundenmark. The declension of Swedish adjectives is a nightmare, but I promise it will be worth the effort.

To whet your appetite, here’s a translation of Storknästet‘s back jacket blurb:

The populist Prime Minister Andro Barras is no longer popular. To get the people back on side – and to make them forget all the allegations of corruption – he takes in a child refugee: Zîn, who never goes anywhere without her doll, her best friend. But the plan goes wrong. As the political game becomes increasingly desperate and family life is torn apart, the magical doll begins to whisper. And the mighty billionaire heads towards his downfall.

The Stork’s Nest is a novel where the lies of power are set before the absurd funhouse mirror of fiction. It is also the name of the spa and conference facility that led to accusations of fraud against the Czech Republic’s real-life prime minister Andrej Babiš.

Storknästet is published by Modernista.

While you’re revising your declensions, you can bask in the novel’s glorious cover. It’s designed by Lundenmark’s long-time collaborator, the astounding Niklas Nenzén.

Take a peek behind the veil.

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