The Faculty of Dreams
Sara Stridsberg, Deborah Bragan-Turner
“One of the most genuinely insubordinate books I have read, and one of the most beautiful . . . this book earns its laurels” Katy Waldman, New Yorker
Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2019
In April 1988, Valerie Solanas – the writer, radical feminist and would-be assassin of Andy Warhol – was discovered dead in her hotel room, in a grimy corner of San Francisco. She was only 52; alone, penniless and surrounded by the typed pages of her last writings.
In The Faculty of Dreams, Sara Stridsberg revisits the hotel room where Solanas died, the courtroom where she was tried and convicted of attempting to murder Andy Warhol, the Georgia wastelands where she spent her childhood, and the mental hospitals where she was interned.
Through imagined conversations and monologues, reminiscences and rantings, Stridsberg reconstructs this most intriguing and enigmatic of women, articulating the thoughts and fears that she struggled to express in life and giving a powerful, heartbreaking voice to the writer of the infamous SCUM Manifesto.
Simply a very, very good debut novel. It discusses our human longing to function as smoothly as machines, our contempt for weakness, and the role of the weak in a world of achievement * Dagens Nyheter * This is an affectionate and incisive, compassionate and courageous book * Neue Zurcher Zeitung * Stridsberg's language is brilliant; feverish yet clear. The depiction of the milieus of American workers, academics and artists from the 1940s to the 1980s is superb, but at the centre is the tender yet razor-sharp insight into the mind of a limitlessly fascinating individual * Deutschland Radio Kultur * Urgent and poetic. ... fascinating literature * Bayerischer Rundfunk * At once a hagiography, an exercise in admiration and a portrait of a marginal America, this passionate novel reveals the fate of the woman who wanted to shoot Andy Warhol * Lire * Impressive and bewitching, The Faculty of Dreams is unquestionably one of the revelations of the publishing season * Le Magazine litte'raire * The thrilling spectacle, the muscles and bone, of a vibrant, living text ... This novel of rare strength unleashes an irresistible seduction * Le Monde * Stridsberg excels in mixing documented facts with a liberated fiction in a feverish, vibrant prose * Nordic Council Award * Stridsberg's evocation of Valerie Solanas conjures images that are poetic and enchanting * Dagens Nyheter * Brilliant, multi-layered, thrilling ... a burning love letter with icy observation at its core * Svenska Dagbladet *
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