A Fortune Foretold

by Agneta Pleijel

“It sometimes happens that a writer manages to find and swing open the well-hidden doors to the very heart of their literary passions and expressions. This is what acclaimed Swedish poet, playwright and novelist Agneta Pleijel has managed to do. The result is a brave, beautiful and engaging tale of a young woman navigating the potentially treacherous waters between the erotic cravings of the adolescent body and the poetic hunger of the literary and intellectual mind.”
Göran Rosenberg, author of A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz

A prophecy received by a beloved aunt, a prophecy that the girl eagerly awaits to see fulfilled.

In an open-hearted and pregnant recollection, Agneta Pleijel writes her memoirs about a young girl who once was her. The childhood is dominated by geographical movements. The girl is engaged in reading – the books give words to the vagueness of existence – and she's also busy thinking about the female sex, family and the stupendous diversity of people. Her dad, the mathematician, and her mum, the musician, are very different from each other. They are in conflict with each other, and she loves them both.


Slowly she realizes that she's grown up in a lie. She must guard herself carefully. Protect herself and her two younger sisters and not make tread gently in the war zone that her parents' marriage is increasingly turning into. She believes in the miracle, the magic and the transformation.

The story takes place in the suburbs of Stockholm, in the university town of Lund and in the U.S.
It is a tale both painful and humorous about the search for truth, morality, and a place of your own in the world. Agneta Pleijel writes about times gone by, but the story about a girl growing into womanhood is ageless.

Spådomen/A Fortune Fortold was shortlisted for the August Prize for Best Fiction 2015, with the following words from the jury:

“Delving into the recesses of your past life is a delicate business, not least when done publicly. Agneta Pleijel’s search for the girl she once was moves in an uncomplicated way between the apparently private and the universal. With crystal clear prose and psychological insights, she confronts her own and her family’s past. It is disturbing, but also reassuring. A Fortune Fortold is an enchanting novel about a young woman’s attempts at liberation.”

A Fortune Fortold
has so far sold more than 26 000 copies in Sweden.

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