Author Archives: Karin Boye

Living: 1900 - 1941

Place of birth: Gothenburg

Karin Maria Boye (1900-1941) was a Swedish writer, poet and translator. She was best known for her poetry, but also wrote several novels, short stories and articles. Among her prose works, the dystopian science fiction novel Callocaine has received the most attention.

Callocaine contains elements of both science fiction and dystopia, and describes a future society in which the individual belongs to the state, has meaning only as part of the group and is constantly monitored. It draws inspiration from social developments in both Germany and the Soviet Union before the Second World War. Despite the constant surveillance and the closed society, the novel also describes deep human emotions such as love and the quest for freedom.

Karin Boye's most famous poem is probably "Ja, visst gör det mal när knoppar brister" from the collection For the sake of the tree. She died after an overdose of sleeping pills (suicide) after leaving her home on 23 April 1941, and is said to have been found lifeless by a large rock on a hill north of Alingsås.
Yes, it hurts

Utgiven 1935 i diktsamlingen För trädets skull. Det finns även en inspelning där Karin Boye [...]

By compulsion

From the poetry collection "Härdarna" (1927)

To an unknown descendant

From the poetry collection Clouds, which Karin Boye debuted with in 1922