Hjördis

Art: Lotta Geffenblad

“If you want to send me a letter, put Hjördis Bergkvist, Solgatan 1, Hagalund on the envelope. Because that’s my address.”

At around 1950 that was a completely correct address. That was my name and my real address. Neither the name nor the address exist any more. Yes, Hjördis was my given name and Hjördis, the girl I once was, still lives on inside of me. Now she’s become a girl in a book.

Certain memories from my growing up years in a working class area outside of Stockholm are strong and clear. They are the impressions absorbed through my senses – how the asphalt of our backyard felt beneath my hands and feet, the sound of mothers beating carpets or shouting out of windows, the way friends’ houses smelled, the feeling of pealing a scab off my knee or hiking in the mountains in new gym shoes, cheeks cold in the spring wind.

But what did we say? What did we talk about? What actually happened? Why do I remember this or that specific detail?

I began writing to remember and understand. Returning to the backyard of my childhood, to the summer at my grandmother’s or to Hagalund’s elementary school has stirred up many emotions. Now the first book is finished.

I am very glad to continue my collaboration with Lotta Geffenblad, who is also proficient in doing black and white sketches.