I am a Swedish reporter and author, working for newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. While specializing in in-depth journalism about social affairs, culture, politics, and the media, I also write columns, features, and travel stories.
I have written more than twenty nonfiction books, several of them dealing with American themes. Two of these are based on material that I have gathered during long stays on Indian reservations, while Cowboy is a collection of stories from those backroads and backwaters in America where the news media rarely goes. These books have received extraordinary reviews in Sweden, and Cowboy, now in its second edition, has been embraced for its clever use of language and its insights into lesser known parts of the US.
Some of my other books in Swedish deal with topics such as honor culture and the strange politics attached to it, battered women in hiding, and Somalis living in Sweden.
The two books I have published in English have been very successful with American critics.
West, with Lars Strandberg (photo) and Ronnie Nilsson (design), is based on numerous journeys throughout the American West, and it was released by US publisher Gibbs Smith. In 2012, West won the prestigious Swedish Design Award, in the books category. Cowboys & Indians magazine writes that “West delves beneath the surface with a poetic investigative zeal. It’s a wide-open European perspective on the wide-open American spaces.” Sonoma Magazine says: “Those of us living in the American West – hell, everyone living in America – should give thanks to a trio of Swedes who bring us closer to ourselves with a collection of photos and essays that ring painfully, powerfully and yet lovingly true.”
Floating in Sausalito is my book about the colorful California houseboat culture, produced with Lars Strandberg (photo). When the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle picked their favorite Christmas gift books in December 2016, Floating in Sausalito was included on both lists! The US reviews have been very favorable: “Handsome and invaluable”, “Sensitive and compassionate”, “Improbably but brilliantly written and photographed by two Swedes named Lars”.
My three-part book series on integration and segregation in Sweden – Framtidsstaden (City of The Future, 2017), Landet där vad som helst kan hända (The Country Where Anything Might Happen, 2018) and All inclusive (2019) – has received a lot of media attention and influenced public debate.
When All inclusive was published, renowned editor-in-chief Mats Edman wrote: “Lars Åberg deserves the foremost Swedish Journalism Award for his nuanced and more than 20-year long coverage of the greatest social change in Sweden since the emigration to America. Courage, integrity, critical thinking, enlightened humanism – that’s how I view Lars Åberg’s work. He is unique, without real competition, and deserving of major recognition.”
And, oh, I have also written a play for the stage! In 2018, Två aviga & en rät (Purl & Plain), created with director Karin Parrot Jonzon, premiered at Uppsala Stadsteater. Upsala Nya Tidning called it an “elegant chamber play about the elasticity of political language.”