Øberg, Edith

1895 - 1968

Norway

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Øberg, Edith

Written by:  Birgitta Svanberg

Edith Øberg was born in Lysekil in Sweden and grew up in Oslo. Apart from four years at a continuation school followed by commercial training, she studied languages, song, and music. In 1915, she made her debut as a singer, worked for a long time as a secretary for a large company in Oslo and for periods in France, England, and Germany, and was married to the critic and writer Hans Christian Lyche.

After her literary debut with Pr. korrespondanse (N), 1916, she wrote novels, including light fiction such as the novel Med skjell på halen, 1929, under the pseudonym of Lita. In her serious novels, which show profound psychological insight into problems relating to female identity, friendship between women is often the focus of her deeply probing narrative style, such as in Boblen, 1921, Skum, 1922, Innvielse, 1940, and Den hvite poppelen, 1945.

Like her contemporaries, for example Karin Boye, she looks at taboo relationships and emotions between women. She never received the literary and historical attention she deserved. Only her novel Mann i mørke of 1939 was reprinted in 1991, although in a review by Aksel Sandemose she was called “the greatest woman writer in Norway in the generation after Sigrid Undset”.

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