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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Karin Boye

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Last Updated: Engelbrecht

Karin Boye

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Full Name: Karin Boye
Born: October 26, 1900
Gothenburg, Sweden
Died: April 21, 1941
Alingsås, Sweden
Occupation: poet and novelist
Nationality: Swedish


Karin Maria Boye was a Swedish poet and novelist.

Boye was born in Gothenburg (Göteborg), Sweden and moved with her family to Stockholm in 1909. She studied at Uppsala University from 1921 to 1926 and debuted in 1922 with a collection of poems, "Clouds". During her time in Uppsala and until 1930, Boye was a member of the Swedish Clarté League, a socialist group in those days very anti-Fascist

In 1931 Boye, together with Erik Mesterton and Josef Riwkin, founded the poetry magazine Spektrum, introducing T. S. Eliot and the Surrealists to Swedish readers. She translated many of Eliot's works into Swedish; she and Mesterton translated "The Waste Land".

Between 1929 and 1932 Boye was married to another Clarté member, Leif Björck. The marriage was apparently a friendship union. In 1932, after separating from her husband, she had a lesbian relationship with Gunnel Bergström, who left her husband, poet Gunnar Ekelöf, for Boye. During a stay in Berlin 1932-1933 she met Margot Hanel, whom she lived with for the rest of her life, and referred to as "her wife".

Boye's novel Crisis (Kris) depicts her religious crisis and lesbianism. In her novels Merit Awakens and Too Little she explores male and female role-playing.

Outside Sweden, her best-known work is probably the novel Kallocain. Inspired by her visit to Germany during the rise of Nazism, it was a portrayal of a dystopian society in the vein of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (though written almost a decade before Orwell's magnum opus). In the novel, an idealistic scientist named Leo Kall invents Kallocain, a kind of truth serum. The novel was filmed in Sweden in 1981 and was the main influence on the movie Equilibrium.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Non Series Works