Bjerne, Ulla Lovisa

1890 - 1969

Sweden

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Bjerne, Ulla Lovisa

Written by:  Lisbeth Larsson

Ulla Lovisa Bjerne, née Cecilia Gully Ohlson, came from a small town in Norrland. She completed commercial training in Stockholm in 1912, worked in an office in southern Sweden and in Copenhagen, and travelled to Paris to become an artist, but ended up more in the role of model and muse.

With her unusual, tomboyish style and her strong personality, Ulla Bjerne became a key figure in Scandinavian writers’ and artists’ circles; she was attended on and portrayed by many of the prominent Swedish artists of the time. In 1922, she married professor and chief physician Léon Biaudet and settled in Finland.

Her debut work was the novel Mitt andra jag, which was published in 1916, and she subsequently wrote a number of highly acclaimed collections of short stories and novels, including Dårarnas väg, 1917, Syndare, 1921, and Lidelser, 1929, most of which feature a woman as the main character. Her autobiographical trilogy Livet väntar dig, 1955, Den glada otryggheten, 1958, and Botad oskuld, 1961, attracted much attention, both as a literary and scandalous work.

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