The August Prize winning, perceptive novel dives into the world of 15-year-olds on the cusp of the rest of their lives.
Author: Ellen Strömberg
Swedish original: Vi ska ju bara cykla förbi
Publisher: Schildts & Söderströms | Rabén & Sjögren 2022
Genre: YA fiction
Number of pages: 251 pp.
Reading material: Swedish original, Finnish translation, English sample, English synopsis
Rights sold: Italy, Terre di Mezzo; Korea, Bluemoose Books
It’s spring of ninth grade. Manda and Malin are best friends in a small town where nothing ever happens. The girls are known as the Bicycles, because they’re always riding around looking for excitement, be it people to hang out with, a party, a little love – everything goes. When they’re not riding around, they can be found loitering around the convenience store or the library.
When the hottest guy ever in Malin’s opinion gets a job at the local pizzeria, life feels like it’s finally starting. But is the interest mutual, or is Malin too ordinary? And is she herself really that interested in the end?
In We’ll Just Ride Past, Strömberg, a perceptive depicter of emotional shifts and relationships, captures that phase in a young person’s life when they see themselves as an adult, when spending time with the family is agony and it’s natural to change the way you dress and the music you listen to every week.
We’ll Just Ride Past won the August Prize, the most prestigious literary award in Sweden in 2022 and was nominated for the Finlandia Prize, the most prestigious literary award in Finland.
“With sensitivity and accuracy [Strömberg] describes the turning point of adolescence, when the fantasies about who you want to be are suddenly put into practice, friendships are put to test and first love feels both alluring and terrifying. With the greatest respect for both her readers and her characters, Ellen Strömberg gives new life to the most iconic motif in youth literature.“
–August Prize jury
“A credible youth novel about friendship, growing up and a great hunger for life. The author describes with precision and joy the life of teenagers in a nameless small town, the boundaries of which the main characters want to cross. The book shows what it feels like to want very much, even though you are not entirely sure what it is you want.”
– Finlandia Junior Prize Jury
“Chasing Water is both a keenly funny and profoundly sad book about how to survive and move past growing up.”
– Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper on Störmberg’s debut Chasing Water
“Strömberg is a talented author with an instinct for language and detail.”
– Svenska Dagbladet newspaper (Sweden) on Chasing Water
“Though the events sometimes seem a bit banal – parents’ divorce, first sexual experience, house parties, first period – Strömberg is skilled at stealthily smuggling in acute observations about friendship, adolescence, and growing up as a young woman. A simple story with a whole other level in between the lines.”
– Nuori Voima literary magazine on Chasing Water
Chasing Water (2018)
Maggan–All Year Round (2020)
About the author: