Klas Östergren was born in Stockholm, where he grew up at Lilla Essingen, which also remained a typical working-class district long into the 70s. It is a part of Stockholm which is centrally located but at the same time feels a little bit off-side. Most people living on the island at the time worked at Primus AB or AB Lux, later Electrolux, and lived in one of the many one-room or two-room apartments of the district. In Östergren om Östergren (2007), Östergren himself comments that, as for area, it was the most densely populated island in the world in the 50s, though he then adds a reservation regarding the truth of this statement. In the novel Fantomerna (1978), he describes the district as a "welfare-state getto bringing up full-fledged gangsters knocking over hot-dog stands, crushing the windows of the local supermarket, sniffing thinner in the entrances of apartment buildings, killing hedgehogs, spin-drying cats, burning down attic offices and raping each other." Today, no workers live in the district any longer. The factories have been demolished a long time ago. The small apartments command rocket-high prices, just like the new apartments built in the former factory areas.
This is an abbreviated version of the article about Klas Östergren.
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