Omslagsbild: Dubbelporträtt

Date of release: 2020-09-02
Pages: 206
Sold to: Czech Republic: Havran, Denmark: Batzer & Co, Estonia: Varrak, Germany: Urachhaus, Hungary: Polar, Netherlands: Oevers, Russia: Gorodets, Serbia: Blum, Turkey: Epsilon
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Dubbelporträtt /Double Portrait

March 1969. In only a matter of months the Americans will walk on the moon and the world will never be the same again. A young man enters the gallery Marlborough Fine Arts in London, which is hosting an exhibition with Oskar Kokoschka. The young man wants to know how much the Austrian painter will charge to paint a portrait of his grandmother. 

His grandmother turns out to be the world famous mystery author Agatha Christie and the portrait will be a gift for her 80th birthday. The two ageing artists reluctantly agree to the project and during six sessions they forge an bond, reveal the fears and desires that shape a creative life. It becomes a conversation about death, love and art - in whichever order you choose. 

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Pleijel’s novels are constantly moving through the area of tension between antipoles: the lucid and the enigmatic, the empathy of emotional intensity and the intellectual analysis, the fiercely sensual and the slightly dull academia. In Double Portrait she has condensed plot and prose to the maximum: the novel as a haiku. It is wonderful and uplifting reading.
Svenska Dagbladet
Pleijel creates her own exquisite choreography where dialogue, descriptions and the characters’ reflections are allowed to blend into one. Her prose shifts between distinctly monosyllabic and intractably embellished in its images. All you have to do is to follow. And enjoy.
Värmlands Folkblad
It is a fascinating fantasy, delightfully incarnated by Agneta Pleijel /… / Parallel to the creation of the coarse 80th birthday portrait, Pleijel, through her novella, successfully produces a double portrait that is more remarkable and appealing, captivatingly nuanced thanks to a precise and sensuous prose.
Norrländska Socialdemokraten
In fictional works about famous people it is common that the author adds own psychological speculations when the research runs dry. But Pleijel’s invented conversations between the artist and his muse appear so natural and authentic that occasionally I feel like a fly on the wall. The novel is also set in a time when the world was transforming into another, with the protests of 1968 behind and the Americans landing on the moon. Pleijel’s elegant double portrait is from that perspective a mental time capsule about two dramatic shifts in history. But also a cosy, entertaining chamber play about two colourful characters who knew how to find their own way through history.

Agneta Pleijel is one of Sweden's most cherished authors. Since her debut in 1970, she has been active both as a novelist, poet and playwright. Pleijel's books have been translated into a number of languages and she has been awarded several prestigious literary prizes. 

Her latest books are the bestselling and critically acclaimed A Fortune Foretold and The Scent of a Man - both based on her own life. 

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