The Serious Game
Hjalmar Söderberg

Translated by Eva Claeson

Sweden's most celebrated and enduring love story.

Henning Mankell described this novel, on the centenary of its publication in 1912, as one of the world's lost classics. Published by Marion Boyars since 2001, and in a new reprint now, THE SERIOUS GAME is a love story that has barely aged at all. Mankell writes: "Söderberg wrote a contemporary novel. He wants the reader to look upon that time and to understand that love is not a secluded island, it is always affected by the “big” world; by society; politics, disasters and scandals (he even mentions the Dreyfus affair)." The book was also featured in the finale of the 2013 TV series, TRUE BLOOD, and has a special place in the hearts of many readers.

Set at the turn of the previous century, THE SERIOUS GAME tells how Arvid, an ambitious and educated young man, meets Lydia, the daughter of a landscape painter, one summer and falls in love. Lydia, however, has other suitors, and Arvid is frightened of being tied by his emotions. Years later, now trapped inside loveless marriages of convenience, the two struggle to rekindle the promise of their romance with bitter and tragic results. A work of tremendous insight, tenderness and gentle irony, THE SERIOUS GAME tells a compelling story of bright young bohemians in love and struggling to free themselves from the snares of liberal society.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1869, Hjalmar Söderberg became a literary sensation at the age of 28 when his first novel was published. A rough contemporary of August Strindberg, he was one of Scandinavia's most prominent modernist authors.

Price: £8.99
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0-7145-3061-1
Publication: reprinted August 2003, August 2012, April 2014