Per Olov Enquist, the famous Swedish author has passed away at the age of 85. According to a report in The Guardian, his family members have confirmed that the author was suffering from a prolonged illness.
Author of books that include The Royal Physician’s Visit, Nedstörtad ängel, Captain Nemo’s Library, he won several accolades for his work, like the Nordic Council’s literary prize, the August prize, Swedish Academy’s Nordic prize among others. He had also aided in writing the screenplay for the film Pelle the Conqueror, which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. “Few have, like him, inspired other writers, renewed the documentary novel, revitalised Swedish drama and touched readers for more than half a century,” commented Håkan Bravinger, literary director at his Swedish publisher Norstedts, as quoted by the report.
Bravinger remarked that Enquist’s importance to Swedish literature cannot be overstated. Christopher MacLehose, Enquist’s UK publisher, referred to him as a “a giant among European writers”, adding, “He was a novelist of immense stature and range; he was also all his life a playwright; and he was a spellbinding speaker at literary events.” MacLehose described Enquist as “the kindest, most charming, most curious and witty of men.”
The author had battled with alcoholism for many years and tried many times to quit. The report cites that Enquist had failed twice and did not write for 13 years. On his third try, he discovered, much to his delight that he could still write.
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