Per Olov Enquist

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Per Olov Enquist
Per Olov Enquist in 2008
Per Olov Enquist in 2008
Born (1934-09-23) 23 September 1934 (age 85)
Hjoggböle, Skellefteå, Västerbotten, Sweden
OccupationJournalist, playwright and novelist
Notable workThe Visit of the Royal Physician
Enquist presenting himself at the Gothenburg bookfair in 2012.

Per Olov Enquist, better known as P. O. Enquist, (born 23 September 1934) is a Swedish author.[1] He has worked as a journalist, playwright, and novelist. In the 1990s, he gained international recognition with his novel The Visit of the Royal Physician.


Enquist was born and raised in Hjoggböle, Skellefteå, Västerbotten. He is the only son of a single mother, who became a widow when he was half a year old. After gaining a degree in the history of literature at Uppsala University Enquist worked as a newspaper columnist and TV debate moderator from 1965 to 1976. His work soon made him an influential figure on the Swedish literary scene. From 1970 to 1971 he lived in Berlin on a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service and in 1973 he was a visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has worked as an independent writer since 1977.

Enquist's works are characterized by a chronically pessimistic view of the world. They invariably describe the restrictions imposed by a pietistic way of living, and this is especially so in March of the Musicians (1978) and Lewi's Journey (2001). He gained international recognition with his novel The Visit of the Royal Physician (1999), which tells the story of Johann Friedrich Struensee, the personal physician of King Christian VII of Denmark. A number of his works have been translated into English by Tiina Nunnally.


Enquist won the Nordic Council's Literature Prize in 1968 for his account of Sweden's deportation of Baltic-country soldiers at the end of the second world war. Subsequent awards have included the Selma Lagerlöf Prize in 1977, the Dobloug Prize in 1988, and the Italian the Flaiano Prize in 2002. He also received the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize as well as the Nelly Sachs Prize in 2003 for Livläkarens Besök (translated into English as "The Visit of the Royal Physician"). In 2010, Enquist was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature for his storytelling. In 2010, he received the Swedish Academy's Nordic Prize, known as the 'little Nobel'.

At the 27th Guldbagge Awards Enquist was nominated for the award for Best Screenplay for the film Il Capitano: A Swedish Requiem.[2]


  • Kristallögat (1961)
  • Färdvägen (1963)
  • The magnetist's fifth winter (Magnetisörens femte vinter) (1964). ISBN 0-7043-2721-X
  • Bröderna Casey (1964)
  • Sextiotalskritik (1966)
  • Hess (1966)
  • Legionärerna: En roman om baltutlämningen (1968)
  • Sekonden (1971)
  • Katedralen i München och andra berättelser (1972). ISBN 91-1-725731-X
  • Berättelser från de inställda upprorens tid (1974). ISBN 91-1-741212-9
  • The night of the tribades (Tribadernas natt) (1975)
  • Chez Nous (1976). ISBN 91-1-761481-3
  • The march of the musicians (Musikanternas uttåg) (1978). ISBN 0-7043-0190-3
  • Mannen på trottoaren (1979). ISBN 91-1-791381-0
  • Till Fedra (1980). Based on the myth of Phaedra. ISBN 91-1-801061-X
  • En triptyk (1981). ISBN 91-1-811312-5
  • Rain snakes (Från regnormarnas liv) (1981)
  • Doktor Mabuses nya testamente (1982). ISBN 91-1-811762-7
  • Strindberg. Ett liv (1984). ISBN 91-1-841622-5
  • Downfall: a love story (Nedstörtad ängel) (1985). ISBN 0-7043-2612-4
  • Två reportage om idrott (1986). Earlier printed as Katedralen i München och andra berättelser. ISBN 91-1-861652-6
  • Protagoras sats (1987). ISBN 91-1-871292-4
  • The hour of the lynx (I lodjurets timma) (1988). ISBN 91-1-881241-4
  • Captain Nemo's library (Kapten Nemos bibliotek) (1991). ISBN 0-7043-7019-0
  • Plays (Dramatik) (1991/2004). Contains The night of the tribades, Rain snakes, The hour of the lynx and The image makers. ISBN 91-1-912571-2 / ISBN 0-413-77200-4
  • Kartritarna (1992). ISBN 91-1-921562-2
  • The Visit of the Royal Physician (Livläkarens besök) (1999). ISBN 0-09-944705-3
  • Lewi's Journey (Lewis resa) (2001). ISBN 1-58567-341-2
  • Boken om Blanche och Marie (2004). ISBN 91-1-301360-2 English translation as The Book about Blanche and Marie, 2006 ISBN 1-58567-668-3
  • Ett annat liv ("A different life", autobiography) (2008). ISBN 91-1-301893-0
  • Liknelseboken: en kärlekshistoria (2013). ISBN 978-91-1-304951-9


  1. ^ "Österrikiskt kulturpris till P.O. Enquist". Nyheter (in Swedish). 26 July 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Il Capitano (1991)". Swedish Film Institute. 17 March 2014.

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