Three decisive years in Swedish history form the background to Carl-Henning Wijkmark’s new novel: 1709 and Sweden’s defeat at the Battle of Poltava; 1809 when Sweden lost Finland to the Russians; 1909 the year of the General Strike.
In Den svarta väggen, it is the Sweden of 2009 that is described. A man returns ‘home’ to Sweden after having lived in America for more than fifty years. He has come to find out why his father was forced to leave the country after the Second World War. While he is looking for the answer, he meets a drastically changed country and even comes across hidden events from his Swedish childhood which shake the very foundations of his own identity. He comes to see the old Sweden in a new way.
Carl-Henning Wijkmark takes up themes from his previous works: the long shadows of the past and how they reach into the present time; the relationship of Swedish culture to the Continent and the transformation of civilisation.