Generation Housewife – a portrait of the 2000th century heroines

By Fatima Bremmer

How well do you know the housewife? The one who puts curlers in her hair, bakes her own cookies, would never be caught dead in a pair of jeans but wouldn’t mind a smock that buttons in the back.

The older generation of housewives have long been invisible. They have toiled in silence. They are the ones who stayed at home in stained aprons, rolling meatballs for the children who became the women and men who now govern Sweden. They sewed their clothes, bathed them and taught them right from wrong. They made each penny stretch and kept food in their children’s bellies. These Swedish ladies are born in the decades between 1910-1930 and belong to the generation who never had its own youth culture.

Their glory days began right after the Second World War. The streets were filled with Volvo VPs and Volkswagen Beetles. Men and women live separate lives and if there’s room for a hobby, it’s of a more practical kind.

In Generation Housewife, Fatima Bremmer and Magnus Wennman step into the old ladies’ world. They follow Ebba, 85, to her sewing-circle, Maj-Britt 82, to salon Fleur, where she has her hair done every week. They ask questions and listen as the ladies describe the common housewife ideal and family politics. It tells the story of how the characteristic decorations, hairstyles, fashions and hobbies came to be and looks forward to the new modern housewife trends and old lady-inspired fashions.

First published by Forum/ Ester Bonnier Publishing

“The book makes you want to jump for joy. Partly because its so beautiful and warmly written and filled with exciting stories.”
DI Weekend 

“Fantastically inspiring and a fun read”

 – Go´kväll, SVT 

“..a serious dive into the old lady’s history and values in the uprising Swedish folkhemmet”


“A tribute to the old lady…and some interesting women’s history”

Norrländska Socialdemokraten 

“In Generation Housewife Fatima Bremmer collectes the knowledge and wisdom from the forgotten and extinct grandma-generation”


“A loving journey into the old lady’s promised land” 

Your Life 

“The best right now” 


“Moving, fun and strongly engaging. ⅘”

ICA Kuriren 

“Long live the old lady…A fun and ambitious book with beautiful photographies”
Expressen Söndag 

“A very suitable Christmas gift to young and old women, everyone who is interested in modern Swedish history or for the one who wants a cult coffee table book with informative content” 

– Västerbottens Folkblad 

Generation Housewife is a book a lot of people would feel good reading, for different reasons. I read it with joy.. Fatima re-establishes the Swedish old lady”

– Skaraborgs Läns Tidning 

“Fatima Bremmer’s book is interesting, fun and educative. It also gives restitution to the women who was unseen for so long. And Magnus Wennman’s beautiful pictures captures the warm feeling of the book.”

Nerikes Allehanda 

An incredibly beautiful and through book…Several of the “old ladies” books and articles published lately have been shallow. This book should be viewed as the Bible in its context…5/5” 


“The journalist and author has together with photographer Magnus Wennman’s incredible photos has captured both a melancholy and exuberant portrait of the women we call old ladies. In a gentle and respectful way Generation Housewife talks about how society forms the lady, then discard and reform her. The book dwells deeper into her hairstyle and clothes to her moral courage  and lifeviews. But above all it consolidates the old lady as a human and a source of inspiration and knowledge.”

– Uppsala Nya Tidning 

We get an initiated description of the history of women spanning over decades, and these kinds of depictions is not something we are used to. And we get many warm portraits of old ladies, enhanced with wonderful photos of Magnus Wennman. The person interested in this subject has in this a read that will last for a long time.  


Stockholm Workers’ Institute Association’s scholarship for studies in Swedish popular education 2014 with the book Generation Housewife – a portrait of the 2000th century heroines.