Penguin Book

The Fly Trap

Fredrik Sjöberg

Translated by Sarah Death

Fredrik Sjöberg is obsessed by hoverflies. The Fly Trap explores why he left his job as Props Assistant at Stockholm's National Theatre and moved to a tiny island to hunt flies, using it as a starting point to examine the obsessive nature of collecting and collectors. The Fly Trap was a bestseller in Sweden, was shortlisted for their August Prize and has since been translated into German, Russian, Norwegian and French. Sjöberg's writing has been compared to Bruce Chatwin and Robert Byron and his collection of flies was exhibited at the Venice Bienniale in 2009.

'One thing I learned very early as a writer is that no one is interested in flies but everyone is interested in people. So I don't write my books for biologists. I write them for the ordinary people on the street who don't give a shit about insects...One morning, I found a dead hoverfly in the window in my kitchen. It was in June 1996. And I started immediately that day, and I was lost, totally lost. I still have this fly in my collection and can therefore see exactly when it all started. Collections are like diaries: You open these cages, you read the small labels, and then you remember, "Oh, it was that day, oh yes, I remember the bush that fly was sitting on...!" Even aged entomologists remember and start talking about their triumphs when they open their boxes. For me it's like a mirror. I can see myself in these crazy people collecting things and travelling the world. They are like grown up boys that never really grow up.'

Fredrik Sjöberg is a Swedish journalist and translator of E O Wilson and Al Gore (amongst others). The Fly Trap is the first instalment of his much acclaimed non-fiction trilogy: the other books are The Art of Flying and The Raisin King. Sarah Death is the acclaimed translator of the critically acclaimed The Emperor of Lies by By Steve Sem-Sandberg.

Publication date
  • Biography and Memoir
  • Poetry and Literature
  • Travel
Format TPS
191 x 118mm
Random House Inc (Knopf) (PRH Rights)
agentur literatur Gudrun Hebel
agentur literatur Gudrun Hebel
agentur literatur Gudrun Hebel
Audio (Unabridged)
agentur literatur Gudrun Hebel
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