It's finally happening. Amatka will be out in English on June 27. That's next Tuesday! You can preorder it from Amazon here.
The road has been a long one. Amatka was released in Swedish back in 2012, and it took a long time to translate. It took a long time to write, too. This year it's been ten years since I started working on the story.
Amatka started out as a poetry collection that I wrote on the sly. I was really working on my first short story collection, but as you know, doing something you're not supposed to do is more fun. I had spent some years collecting dream notes, and I found myself wondering if they could be mapped. What did my dream country look like? I found that some places showed up again and again, although the geography, events and people shifted. I ended up ordering the notes according to an imagined compass: north, south, east and west, and finally, a central city. I called the collection Horn and Ivory, named after the mythic gates through which dreams emerge into the world.
The collection was rejected by all the publishers I sent it to, and I shelved it for a time. Then, when my short story collection was finished, I found myself wanting to do something else. I wondered if the poetry collection could be organized as prose instead. It became a flash fiction collection. That didn't seem to work either, though. It needed someone to move through that landscape. That's when Vanja knocked on the door. Vanja, a somewhat reluctant protagonist, agreed to be my guide. But what was the world? Dreams, as I thought of them, are ruled by language. What would Vanja's life be like? What would a society be like in a world where language ruled over matter? The story of Amatka began to unfold. It broke loose from my dream continent and became a world of its own.
Amatka is the story of a few basic principles taken to their ultimate consequences. What is a world like that is ruled by language? How does a society survive in such a world? And what happens to the individual people who live in it?
The road here has been long. I'm very happy to finally be able to share the story with my English-speaking readers. Come walk with me through Amatka.