a Bosnian Swede who teaches English literature at Stockholm
University in the daytime, and works with people with mental
disorders at night. His other works include Thinner than a Hair,
Washing and Illegitimate
with Adnan Mahmutović
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
year, I think, including long periods of time spent on university
studies. I finished the book under a lot of pressure. I had just
begun my PhD, and Stockholm Art College wanted the manuscript ready
within those few months I had to kick-start my academic project. I
guess that’s why the book became a hybrid between my creative
writing and the academic research.
have a collection in mind when you were writing them? How did
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
really. I was writing lots of stories using the same character.
Almasa was a kind of female alter ego. She would say things she felt
had to be said. I put them together and also wrote some flashes and
poems that both created links and breaks between the "main"
stories. I wanted to introduce discontinuity between stories that
naturally fit each other, and linking pieces between stories that did
not. For me this book is more of a novella than a collection, or some
does the word "story"
mean to you?
The kind that my grandma loved, and taught me to love, these bonbons
that look like colourful silk balls with secret fillings. You never
know what you’re going to get inside.
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?
you feel I’ve been honest with you?
TSR: How does
it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
Especially the fact that many of the readers felt like getting in
touch or leaving comments, for instance on amazon and other places.
What are you working on now?
new novel, and another short film called Cup,
about a little black cupid that is adopted by an old English widow
who confuses him for an orphan from Africa.
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
Nuala Ni Chonchuir’s Nude,
and the new editions of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy
(actually, three tomes with all the stories in best print ever)