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Ida Linde

The Winter General

There is a village in rural Västerbotten which only has two houses. One belongs to Eskil, an elderly man filled with regret over a recent decision. There is also his helpless wife, Marianne, and the regal and dominant Winter General, who resides within her.

The other house, vacant for years, once belonged to Eskil’s late brother, Sven, but is now Sara’s. She is stuck in prison, and her only desire is to rescue her son from the curse of the village’s dark legacy, etched into its very fabric.

Eskil’s attempt to make amends sets off a series of events involving both disappearances and reappearances, all against the backdrop of a community scarred by life and death and the mining industry’s ruthless exploitation. Its inhabitants all bear their own burdens. Vilhelmina mourns the loss of her favourite son. Andreas, a heartbroken lawyer, has sacrificed everything he loved to care for her. Soon also Isadora, Sven and Marianne’s estranged daughter, returns from across the Atlantic, hoping for closure. But the two houses, her complicated mother, and the imprisoned Sara, offer her nothing of the kind.

The villagers all grieve something, except the Winter General, who doesn’t grieve at all. It is her madness, and her strength. As the machines gouge new wounds into the land, Marianne and the Winter General unitedly decide to make it stop.

Ida Linde’s new novel The Winter General paints a gritty and mesmerizing portrait of intertwining lives in a dark and cold corner of the world, where all hope of salvation is perhaps not yet lost.

SHORTLISTED FOR NORRLAND’S LITERATURE PRIZE 2024

Ida Linde was born in 1980, grew up in Umeå but now lives in Stockholm. She made her debut in 2006 with novel Maskinflickans testamente. Her 2014 novel You Travel North to Die was awarded Norrland Literature Society’s Prize and Aftonbladet’s Literary Prize. Linde has taught Creative Writing at the renowned Biskops Arnö Writers’ School and is…

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About the book

There is a village in rural Västerbotten which only has two houses. One belongs to Eskil, an elderly man filled with regret over a recent decision. There is also his helpless wife, Marianne, and the regal and dominant Winter General, who resides within her.

The other house, vacant for years, once belonged to Eskil’s late brother, Sven, but is now Sara’s. She is stuck in prison, and her only desire is to rescue her son from the curse of the village’s dark legacy, etched into its very fabric.

Eskil’s attempt to make amends sets off a series of events involving both disappearances and reappearances, all against the backdrop of a community scarred by life and death and the mining industry’s ruthless exploitation. Its inhabitants all bear their own burdens. Vilhelmina mourns the loss of her favourite son. Andreas, a heartbroken lawyer, has sacrificed everything he loved to care for her. Soon also Isadora, Sven and Marianne’s estranged daughter, returns from across the Atlantic, hoping for closure. But the two houses, her complicated mother, and the imprisoned Sara, offer her nothing of the kind.

The villagers all grieve something, except the Winter General, who doesn’t grieve at all. It is her madness, and her strength. As the machines gouge new wounds into the land, Marianne and the Winter General unitedly decide to make it stop.

Ida Linde’s new novel The Winter General paints a gritty and mesmerizing portrait of intertwining lives in a dark and cold corner of the world, where all hope of salvation is perhaps not yet lost.

SHORTLISTED FOR NORRLAND’S LITERATURE PRIZE 2024

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You Travel North to Die
Norrut åker man för att dö

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