Tunstrom, Goran

(1937-2000)
   A Swedish poet, novelist, and short story writer, Tunstrom was born in Sunne, a town in the province of Varmland in southwestern Sweden; Sunne is frequently used as the setting for Tunstrom's books. Tunstrom began his career as a poet with the volume Inringning (1958; Ringing In/Encircling) and followed it up with two more collections, Tva vindar (1960; Two Winds) and Nymalat (1962; Newly Painted). The poet, who had spent some time at a mental hospital as a young man, regarded these works as therapy. Additional volumes of poetry were Om foärtroästan (1965; About Comfort), the main theme of which is love, and De andra de til haälften synliga (1966; The Others, the Half Visible), which manifests his empathy with unfortunate people everywhere. Samtal med marken (1969; Conversations with the Ground) expresses similar concerns. Svartsjukens sanger (1975; Songs of Jealousy) and Sandro Botticellis dikter (1976; The Poems of Sandro Botticelli) both deal with interpersonal relationships, while Sorgesanger (1980; Songs of Sorrow) takes a broad spectrum of mourning as its theme.
   Although Tunström was a very prolific poet, he had greater success with his novels. The first one, Karantan (1961; Quarantine), tells of a marriage that fails because the protagonist in unable to trust in his wife's love for him. Maskrosbollen (1962; The Dandelion Head) is the story of a young man in his relationship to his girlfriend and his older brother. Familjeliv: En berattelse fran Tobobac (1964: Family Life: A Story from Tobobac), which was published the year Tunstrom married the painter Lena Cronquist, depicts some of the absurdities of life, while Hallonfallet (1967; Raspberry Falls) is a rather traditional mystery story.
   Tunstrom secured his position in Swedish literature with three novels that were informed by his brush with mental illness and the experience of his wife, who had suffered a breakdown after the birth of their child. These volumes, De heliga geograferna (1973; The Holy Geographers), Guddottrarna (1975; The Goddaughters), and Praästungen (1976; The Pastor's Kid), are all set in his hometown, Sunne, and use material from the history of his family. A fourth novel also set in Sunne is Juloratoriet (1983; tr. The Christmas Oratorio, 1995). The title refers to the attempt by a group of local people to produce a choral work by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) in a church in Sunne. The structure of the novel resembles the musical structure of the oratorio, and like Bach's work, the story is one of how to overcome grief. The novel earned Tunstrom the Nordic Literary Prize in 1984.
   The novel Tjuven (1986; The Thief), on the other hand, is far less optimistic. Its protagonist has an elaborate plan to steal the famed Codex Argentus, written in Gothic, in order to have the financial resources necessary to help his ill cousin. As becoming a famous scholar of Gothic is part of his plan, however, his focus gradually shifts from his concern for his cousin to satisfying his own ambitions. Tjuven thus becomes a poignant story of ambition and betrayal.
   After a long hiatus Tunstrom published a short story collection, Det sanna livet (1987; The True Life), and the novel Chang Eng (1987), which tells the story of the original Siamese twins exhibited in the circus of P. T. Barnum. Chang and Eng Bunker (1811-1874) later married two sisters, Sarah and Adelaide Yates, and had a large number of children. In Chang Eng Tunstrom cleverly uses forms of address in order to cause readers to examine their understanding of what a human being is.
   Ill with cancer for several years, Tunstrom next published a memoir, Under tiden (1993; Meanwhile) and the novel Skimmer (1996; Shimmering Light), which has Iceland as its setting and deals with the relationship between a son and his father. The author's final work, Beromda man som varit i Sunne (1998; Famous Men Who Have Been to Sunne), recycles a minor figure from Tjuven and offers a large number of interesting characters. It is thus emblematic of and a fitting conclusion to Tunstrom's oeuvre.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tunstrom, Goran — ▪ 2001       Swedish novelist, poet, and playwright (b. 1937, Sunne, Swed. d. Feb. 5, 2000, Stockholm, Swed.), was widely regarded as Sweden s foremost contemporary author. His largely autobiographical works were sensitive explorations of… …   Universalium

  • Tunström — Göran Tunström (* 14. Mai 1937 in Karlstad; † 5. Februar 2000 in Stockholm) war schwedischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke (Auswahl) 3 Weblinks 4 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Goran Tunstrom — Göran Tunström Göran Tunström (1937 2000), écrivain suédois né à Karlstad, Suède, le 14 mai 1937 et décédé d un accident cardiaque à Stockholm le 5 février 2000. Fils d un pasteur, il a passé son enfance dans la Commune de Sunne dans le Värmland …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tunström —   [ tunstrœm], Göran, schwedischer Schriftsteller, * Karlstad 14. 5. 1937, ✝ Stockholm 5. 2. 2000. Der värmländischen Dichtertradition, v. a. Selma Lagerlöf, verbunden, schreibt Tunström eine visionäre, fantasievolle und psychologisch einfühlsame …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Göran Tunström — (* 14. Mai 1937 in Karlstad; † 5. Februar 2000 in Stockholm) war ein schwedischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke (Auswahl) 3 Weblinks …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Göran Tunström — Göran Tunström, né le 14 mai 1937 à Karlstad en Suède et décédé des suites d un cancer à Stockholm le 5 février 2000, est un écrivain suédois. Fils d un pasteur, il a passé son enfance dans la Commune de Sunne dans le Värmland …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Göran Tunström — (14 May 1937 in Karlstad ndash;February 5 2000 in Stockholm) was a Swedish author from Sunne in Värmland. Tunström s style is personal and intimate, and has a clear autobiographical tone. Although active as an established author for nearly four… …   Wikipedia

  • Göran Tunström — (Karlstad, 14 de mayo de 1937 Estocolmo, 5 de febrero de 2000) escritor sueco galardonado en 1984 con el Premio de Literatura del Consejo Nórdico y el Premio Selma Lagerlöf. Hijo de un pastor, pasó su infancia en Sunne, en la frontera con Noruega …   Wikipedia Español

  • Liste schwedischer Schriftsteller — Die Liste umfasst Schriftsteller, die in schwedischer Sprache schreiben/schrieben. Hier sind also sowohl Schriftsteller aus Schweden, die in der dortigen Mehrheitssprache schreiben, als auch schwedischsprachige Schriftsteller aus Finnland (so… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Schwedische Schriftsteller — Die Liste umfasst Schriftsteller, die in schwedischer Sprache schreiben/schrieben. Hier sind also sowohl Schriftsteller aus Schweden, die in der dortigen Mehrheitssprache schreiben, als auch schwedischsprachige Schriftsteller aus Finnland (so… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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