Imagination needs inspiration to bloom.


Kunskapens frukt by Liv Strömquist

Strömquist's latest book describes the view of the female genitalia through the ages. She reflects upon the borderline interest for the female sex organ, and the reader gets to visit the stone age, the witchcraft processes, queen Kristina's grave opening, the influence of religion, the enlightenment period, and finally the ideals of today. Every age is characterized by taboos and attempts to construct the female sex organ according to the norm of the time. 

The book has elements of satire when it comes to the way men through history have shown an immense interest in the female genitalia and done all kinds of sick procedures on the basis of their contemporary opinions. The ambivalent perspective of women - the madonna/whore concept - originates from hundreds of years of twisting and turning of women's sexuality, from religious and scientific points of view.

Strömquist writes in the most insightful way and the book, despite the comic style, should be taken very seriously. It's a historical analyze of the view of the female sex organ and the implications on women's lives. If we are to understand today's view of women and the female genitalia, we need to understand our history. The author uses images, facts and comical reflections as a way of descriptive method. She claims that if men were menstruating, the taboo topic would be viewed as something wonderful, holy and mysterious. The period is, still today, not talked about, even regarded as something shameful. 

As a reader it's difficult not to be affected by the book's descriptions of the immense influence and implications the patriarchy has had through the ages. Of course, men have a rough history in many ways, as well, but this book is dedicated to women and a tribute to the female sex organ. The Swedish political feminist party Fi is only a few years old. It would have been needed a long time ago.


Imorgon är allt som vanligt by Lina Stoltz

In her new book, the author takes the reader to a place of emotions such as uncertainty, insecurity and shame. A young girl's life centers around the condition of her mother. Will her well kept secret be revealed? How long can she carry a burden that begins to shatter her life?

The reader has no difficulties to understand the main character Lilian. Her emotional outbreaks and pretended indifference are easy to connect to the fact that she is living in a totally different world from anybody else. Freedom is just an illusion. Everything depends on her mother. When Lucia is approaching and Lilian is planning the celebrations in school - she finally gets to decide something and take control - she overdoes it. It's difficult to be just enough in a world without references. Her sudden want of intense control over something is understandable because of her dependence at home.

Feelings of guilt and shame of having a parent that is an alcololic and not being able to do anything about it really burns behind your eyes. The book has many dimensions. How it is to be totally powerless. To carry a burden. To take an immense responsibility that young people shouldn't have to do. To always put yourself last. To have to keep a secret that you don't understand. To feel invisible. To live in uncertainty. To have to be the parent when you are the child. And, finally, the relief when realizing that you are not alone. To be able to share the burden with someone. To make it less dramatic and to feel normal.

Many young people undoubtedly recognize the main character's life in the book, and those who don't can get a glimpse of a life that is lived by many young people and perhaps get insight.