23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Marit Kapla
Marit Kapla [© Hartwig Klappert]

Marit Kapla

Swedish cultural journalist and author Marit Kapla grew up in Osebol in the municipality of Torsby. Her parents had moved there shortly after she was born because her father took a teaching position at the Klarälvdalen School across the river. Kapla worked for the local morning paper »Värmlands Folkblad«, moved to Gothenburg in 1998, worked for the Swedish entertainment magazine »Nöjesguiden« and for TV journal »Filmkrönikan«, for the public Sveriges Television AB. From 2007 to 2014 she was artistic director of the Gothenburg Film Festival, and in 2014/2015 she was one of the founders of the festival’s digital film streaming platform Draken Film. 2016–2020 she was one of two editors at the Swedish cultural magazine »Ord & Bild«.

In 2019, Marit Kapla made her debut with »Osebol«, a book of over eight hundred pages of interviews she conducted with the 42 adult residents of Osebol in northern Värmland. The conversations took place in intimate settings, after which Kapla transcribed the interviews and composed the book out of carefully selected quotations. The people are introduced by name in each case, and their ages range from 18 to 92. Kapla’s book is not only a contemporary document, but also has lyrical qualities. Like a prism, it sheds new light on village life. The name Osebol possibly derives from the female name Åsa, stating that a person of that name once inhabited the small village; the first time the name »Osebol« is mentioned in preserved written sources is 1503. River and forest industries had shaped the village and the landscape. But now even potato cultivation is no longer profitable; all forestry work has long since ceased, and factories and schools have closed. In addition to the dwindling number of long-established residents, however, there are also immigrants and city dwellers who long for rural tranquility. »Osebol« has been well received by critics, who have compared it to Edgar Lee Mastersʼ »Spoon River Anthology« and Svetlana Alexievich’s books of reporting.

Marit Kapla was awarded the prestigious Swedish August Prize for her debut and has also received the debut prize from »Borås Tidning«, the Guldpennan Prize from Publicistklubben, the Göran Palm Scholarship, the author prize from Studieförbundet Vuxenskolan, the literary scholarship from the Värmland region, and the debutant scholarship from Föreningen Värmlandslitteratur. The author lives in Gothenburg.

Date: 2022



Göteborg, 2019