A stunning, shocking novel, bringing to life one of the most controversial, forgotten and fascinating characters of second-wave feminism.
"One of the most genuinely insubordinate books I have read, and one of the most beautiful . . . this book earns its laurels" Katy Waldman, New Yorker
Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2019
In April 1988, Valerie Solanas - the writer, radical feminist and would-be assassin of Andy Warhol - was discovered dead in her hotel room, in a grimy corner of San Francisco. She was only 52; alone, penniless and surrounded by the typed pages of her last writings.
In The Faculty of Dreams, Sara Stridsberg revisits the hotel room where Solanas died, the courtroom where she was tried and convicted of attempting to murder Andy Warhol, the Georgia wastelands where she spent her childhood, and the mental hospitals where she was interned.
Through imagined conversations and monologues, reminiscences and rantings, Stridsberg reconstructs this most intriguing and enigmatic of women, articulating the thoughts and fears that she struggled to express in life and giving a powerful, heartbreaking voice to the writer of the infamous SCUM Manifesto.
One of the most genuinely insubordinate books I have read, and one of the most beautiful . . . this book earns its laurels - New Yorker
Brilliant, multi-layered, thrilling ... a burning love letter with icy observation at its core - Svenska Dagbladet
Stridsberg's evocation of Valerie Solanas conjures images that are poetic and enchanting - Dagens Nyheter
Stridsberg excels in mixing documented facts with a liberated fiction in a feverish, vibrant prose - Nordic Council Award
The thrilling spectacle, the muscles and bone, of a vibrant, living text ... This novel of rare strength unleashes an irresistible seduction - Le Monde
Impressive and bewitching, The Faculty of Dreams is unquestionably one of the revelations of the publishing season - Le Magazine litte raire
At once a hagiography, an exercise in admiration and a portrait of a marginal America, this passionate novel reveals the fate of the woman who wanted to shoot Andy Warhol - Lire
Urgent and poetic. ... fascinating literature - Bayerischer Rundfunk
Sara Stridsberg, born in 1972, is a writer, playwright and former member of the Swedish Academy. Her first novel, Happy Sally, was published in 2004, and her break-through came two years later with the publication of The Faculty of Dreams, her second novel, the English translation of which was longlisted for the Booker International Prize in 2019. Her novels have been translated into 25 languages, and she has been shortlisted for the prestigious August Prize three times, including in 2012 for her collection of plays, Medealand and Other Plays. She lives in Stockholm.