Winner of the August Prize for Non-Fiction 2017
She grew up a flighty tomboy and was sent away to boarding school to be taught manners and decorum. But as history shows, Ester Blenda Nordström could never be tamed.
As Sweden’s first ever investigative journalist, and a woman to boot, she did what no one else dared. Using a false identity she slaved away as a maid on a remote farm, lived for six months with the indigenous Sami people in Northern Sweden, and travelled as a third-class passanger to the New World. She saved entire villages from famine during the Finnish Civil War and took part in an expedition to a dangerous volcanic region in Siberia that lasted several years. The groundbreaking reportage she brought home changed the landscape of Swedish journalism for ever.
Ester Blenda Nordström was celebrated and admired, a pioneer and a bright shining star of her time. She was the first woman in Stockholm to drive a motorcycle, smoked pipe tobacco and broke all the boundaries that restricted women’s lives at the beginning of the 20th century.
In this first-ever biography about Ester Blenda Nordström, journalist and author Fatima Bremmer tells the story of Sweden’s most courageous journalist. With the help of previously unseen letter collections and diaries, we get under the skin of one of the 20th century’s most fascinating women.