Eija Hetekivi Olsson, born in 1973, grew up in the Gothenburg suburbs Gårdsten and Bergsjön. She has worked as cleaner and waitress, before she went back to school and studied to become a teacher.
In 2012 Norstedts published her highly praised literary debut Ingenbarnsland/ No Child’s Land followed in 2016 by the anticipated and greatly demanded sequel Miira. Film rights and theatre rights to Ingenbarnsland are sold. The novel was adapted for the stage both in Swedish and in Finnish and premièred in 2015 at the Göteborg City Theatre, to fantastic reviews.
Ingenbarnsland has so far sold more than 20 000 copies in Sweden.
Awards and honours (in selection):
Stig Sjödin Award 2012 (Ingenbarnsland) *
Shortlisted for the August Prize for Best Fiction 2012 (Ingenbarnsland) **
The Katapult Prize for best debut 2012 (Ingenbarnsland)
Swedish Radio’s Novel Prize 2012 (Ingenbarnsland)
The Robespierre Prize 2014
Shortlisted for the Svenska Dagbladet Literature Prize 2016 (Miira)
De Nios Julpris by Samfundet De Nio/The Ninth Society 2016 (Miira)
Scholarhip by the Swedish Academy from Stina and Erik Lundberg’s Fund 2016
The ABF Literature Scholarship 2016
The Aftonbladet Literature Prize 2016
*) Motivation from Stig Sjödin Jury:
“Eija Hetekivi Olsson's novel, No Child’s Land, is a childhood narrative from a Gothenburg suburb characterized by poverty and exclusion, both socially and linguistically. With a furious need for expression and an impressive imaginative language the author creates her own language which sizzles and steams. It is curtly, quirky, expressive and highly authentic.”
**) Motivation from the August Prize Jury:“Miira’s fire may be the biggest in Sweden, when the flame from her adjusted cigarette lighter blackens the suburban project’s ceilings. How do the children really survive childhood? The fire is one answer, presented in Eija Hetekivi Olssons No Child’s Land. It is a novel about the fires burning in the outskirts of the big city, and about the fire burning within a young girl. Eija Hetekivi Olsson writes the modern poverty’s landscape, in a language of equal parts rage as compelling lust.”