Kerstin Strandberg was born in Stockholm, but grew up in Lund, where her father was a dentist. Her mother died early. After completing upper secondary schooling in 1952, she studied art from 1955 to 1961 at Konstfack (University College of Arts, Crafts and Design). She has sat on the committee of the Författarcentrum (The Writers’ Centre in Sweden), Författarförlaget (the writers’ publishing house), Författarförbundets Kvinnoskribentgruppe (women writers’ group of the Swedish Writers’ Union), as well as other organisations. Since the early 1950s, she has been married to the doctor Bo-Lennart Strandberg.
She made her debut with a veiled description of Lund, Som en ballong på skoj, 1967, full of darkly humorous imaginings and ironic observations. With her next novel Klotjorden, 1970, she completed the satirical flavour with a totally black vision of ruin. A whole eight years later, she returned with Skriv Kerstin Skriv, 1978, which became a classic. With its story of writer’s block and problems with creativity, the novel tapped straight into the women’s movement’s discussion of the limitations of the female role.
Her following novel Som en vindil efter sanningen, 1984, is also a test of the writer’s role and, like her autobiographical account of her mother’s death in her subsequent novel Annemonas gördel, 1990, is characterised by the same mysterious and black, cryptic humour as her earlier texts. In 1991 and 1993, she published two metastories, Lidelsens detaljer and Undangömda berättelser, in which she discusses the artistic process and explains her search for all the everyday actions and concrete details on which her preceding novels were based.
Additions by the editorial team 2011:
The above biography was first published in 1998. Since then, Kerstin Strandberg has published the novels Tio syskon i en ömtålig berättelse, 2000, En obeskrivlig människa, 2004, and Silkespappersmönstret, 2009. The two former were nominated for the Augustprisen.