Journalist Bremmer debuts with a tantalizing biography of Sweden’s first investigative reporter, Ester Blenda Nordström […]. Richly textured and vividly told, this is an intriguing portrait of a pioneering woman and her era.
– Publishers Weekly (US)
Ester Blenda Nordström’s life was like a supernova, blazing brightly before fading. This engaging new work by Fatima Bremmer, translated by Gloria Nneoma Onwuneme, brings Ester out of obscurity into her justly earned place among the pioneers of modern women writers.
– Authorlink Magazine (US)
Born in 1891, Ester Blenda Nordström was around 20 when she made history for the first time. Growing up she was an unruly tomboy sent from home to learn how to become a good little girl. But this rich industry magnate’s daughter would never let herself be tamed.
As Sweden’s first ever investigative journalist, Ester Blenda Nordström did what no one else dared to do. Under an assumed identity she toiled as a maid on a farm, lived for six months with the Sami in Lapland, and travelled as a third class passenger together with poor emigrants to try the American dream. She saved entire villages from starvation during the Finnish civil war and partook in a several year long expedition to dangerous volcanic territories in Siberia. The groundbreaking reports that she brought home from her journeys would change Swedish journalism forever.
Praised, admired and friends with Sweden’s cultural elite, she rode her motorbike to work, wore trousers and smoked a pipe. Ester Blenda Nordström defied every norm that constricted women’s lives in the early 20th century. Then suddenly, her powerful voice was silenced. Her spectacular adventures and the struggle for a life on her own terms proved too costly.
In this first ever biography about Ester Blenda Nordström, journalist and author Fatima Bremmer tells the story of what finally caused Sweden’s bravest journalist to lose her nerve. Using previously unknown correspondence and journals, she portrays one of the most fascinating women of the 20th century.