I love to read. But I don’t always find the time to sit down and engage with a book. I constantly collect books though, always while travelling, and have a big pile of books waiting for me. I currently dream of quieter days, to sit down in our beautiful blue chair in the corner of our living room, with a book. Hopefully soon…

Anyway, I got some interesting books for my birthday last year, which has made an impression on me on several levels. One of them is Kallocain by the Swedish author Karin Boye, who have I only read poetry by before. I didn’t know of this book and found it very intriguing that she wrote a science fiction novel about the year 2000.

The story takes place in a utopian world where the state is everything, and totalitarian, and the individual has no value beyond serving the state. It is a shocking and terrifying story, yet a beautiful portrayal of human existence and will to survive. The main character in the book, unfortunately, invents a sort of truth serum, which is being used to expose the citizens' inner secrets.

I am fascinated by the many levels in this story, even though it’s obviously written in the political climate of the beginning of 20th century, it also feels scarily relevant for present days. It’s easy to make comparisons with the current political situation, in combination with the technology and digital revolution (which I presume Boye didn’t know anything about), and the very foreseeing story she wrote. Impressive and slightly scary.

The book was originally released in 1940, Karin Boye ended her own life in 1941; she was born in 1900. The cover artwork for this version of the book is by Peter Haars, printed in 1970.

Susanna's new album Garden of Earthly Delights is out now.