Lectures & Literary past

Collected Works Virtual Book Talk with Lydia Sandgren & Emily Temple

Sat—1-28-2023
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SAT—January 28—1 PM, free
*This event will take place online*

This January, join us for a virtual book talk with Swedish author and psychologist Lydia Sandgren on her new book Collected Works. With moderator Emily Temple, she’ll discuss her compelling mystery and poignant bildungsroman about love, power, and art—and what leads us to make the pivotal decisions that change the course of our lives.

Martin Berg’s wife, Cecilia, disappeared years ago. His memories of their carefree college days seem ever out of reach, and the intellectual curiosities that once made him the object of her desire have given way to midlife uncertainty. The methodical and quiet life he’s made for himself and his adult children couldn’t be further from the one he dreamed of in his youth, when the manuscripts lying around his apartment were flush with promise and his ailing publishing house was still new.

Perhaps nothing reminds Martin of these failures more than his friend Gustav Becker, a wildly successful painter who’s returned to Gothenburg on the eve of his career-defining retrospective. Gustav, meanwhile, is hurting too. His obsession with Cecilia’s inexplicable disappearance had made his art hagiographic, fixated on her image.

When posters for Gustav’s retrospective plaster Cecilia’s face on major billboards across the city, Martin’s daughter Rakel learns a haunting fact that points toward her mother’s whereabouts. She and her brother chase this clue across time, memory, and Europe to discover why Cecilia abandoned her family, with the imagined hope that the question of what makes a person leave can ever be answered.

Registration is required. Please sign up at the link above. This event will take place as a Zoom webinar. Please ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to  info@amscan.org.

“[A] sweeping and complex drama of family, art, and sacrifice . . . Readers will be captivated.” —Publishers Weekly 

“A richly evocative work from a major new talent.” —Kirkus Reviews 

About the Author

Lydia Sandgren is a trained psychologist and lives in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Collected Works is her debut novel.

About the Moderator

Emily Temple is the author of The Lightness (William Morrow, 2020) and the Managing Editor at Literary Hub. She earned an MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia, where she was the recipient of a Henfield Prize.

She lives with her husband and daughter in upstate New York.