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Per Nilsson (1954-) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

Born 1954, in Malmö, Sweden; Education: Trained as a mathematics and music teacher.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Rabén & Sjögren, Box 2052, 102 12 Stockholm, Sweden.


Novelist. Taught math and music in Swedish secondary school; freelance writer, 1999—.


Honors Awards

Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, 1997, and Silver Kiss award (Holland), 1999, both for Heart's Delight; Astrid Lindgren prize, 1999; four August prize nominations.



Hjärtans fröjd, Rabén & Sjögren (Stockholm, Sweden), 1992, translated by Tara Chace as Heart's Delight, Front Street (Asheville, NC), 2003.

Anarkai, Rabén & Sjögren (Stockholm, Sweden), 1998.

Du & Du & Du (title means "You & You & You," Rabén & Sjögren (Stockholm, Sweden), 1998.

Ett annat sätt att vara ung (title means "A Different Way of Being Young"), Rabén & Sjögren (Stockholm, Sweden), 2000.

Lilla Livet, Lilla Döden, Alfabeta Bokförlag (Stockholm, Sweden), 2001.

Author of several other books.


Also author of script for Swedish-language television series.


Novelist Per Nilsson is considered one of Sweden's leading writers for young adults. Studying for a career teaching mathematics and music, Nilsson worked teaching secondary school for only a few years before deciding to commit to writing full time. The author of over a dozen books for teen readers, Nilsson has been awarded with the Astrid Lindgren prize as well as the prestigious Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis for his novel Hjärtans fröjd, translated into English as Heart's Delight.

A novel about first love and the pain of one's first broken heart, Heart's Delight was praised as an "affecting, uniquely constructed Swedish novel" by Horn Book reviewer Christine M. Heppermann. The novel finds the sixteen-year-old, unnamed narrator reflecting on his recent romance and relationship with a young woman named Ann-Katrin. Early on, readers might worry that the narrator is suicidal as the teen gathers a razor blade and a bottle of blue pills. However, other objects soon join these two in an assemblage of all possessions that remind the narrator of the woman who viewed him as a good friend rather than a lover. As each memory is recounted, the narrator "replaying the details … as if they were movie scenes," according to Horn Book contributor Christine M. Heppermann, the objects are burned, ripped, thrown out the window, or otherwise destroyed in a ritualistic attempt to deal with emotional pain. Miranda Doyle, writing in School Library Journal, commented that "the novel's melodrama reflects the ups and downs of a first love and first breakup, and readers who want to experience a romance from a male point of view will find it appealing." The Publishers Weekly critic summed up Heart's Delight, calling it "a Per Nilsson's first book to be published in English focuses on a young man coming to terms with the loss of his first love. (Cover photograph by Helen Robinson.) memorable presentation of a universal theme," while in Kliatt Claire Rosser dubbed it "passionate, romantic, and with a satisfying ending."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, November 1, 2003, Jennifer Mattson, review of Heart's Delight, p. 492; January 1, 2004, review of Heart's Delight, p. 780.

Horn Book, January-February, 2004, Christine M. Heppermann, review of Heart's Delight, p. 86.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2003, review of Heart's Delight, p. 1228.

Kliatt, November, 2003, Claire Rosser, review of Heart's Delight, p. 8.

Publishers Weekly, November 3, 2003, review of Heart's Delight, p. 75.

School Library Journal, December, 2003, Miranda Doyle, review of Heart's Delight, p. 157.


Front Street Books Web site, http://www.frontstreetbooks.com/ (February 28, 2005), "Per Nilsson."

Kinderboekenpagina Web site, http://home.wanadoo.nl/Richard.thiel/auteurs/ (February 28, 2005), "Per Nilsson."

Literature Festival Web site, http://www.literaturfestival.com/ (February 28, 2005), "Per Nilsson."*

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