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Gardell, Jonas 1963–

Gardell, Jonas 1963–

PERSONAL: Born November 2, 1963, in Täby, Sweden; son of Ingegärd (a psychologist) and Bertil (a psychologist) Gardell; partner of Mark Levengood (a media personality and singer), 1995; children: one (adopted).

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, P.A. Norstedt & Söner AB, P.O. Box 2052, SE-103 12, Stockholm, Sweden.

CAREER: Writer, comedian, and television director. Director of television movie Cheek to Cheek, 1997, and video Dan Bäckman 2-0, 2003. Has appeared in Swedish television series and other programs as himself, including episodes of Først & sist, Bettina S., Sen kväll med Luuk, Adam & Eva, and Melodifestivalen 2003.

WRITINGS:

Den tigande talar/4937 (poetry; title means "The Silent One Speaks"), Författarförlaget (Stockholm, Sweden), 1981.

Passionsspelet (novel; tile means "The Passion Play"), Författarförlaget (Stockholm, Sweden), 1985.

Odjurets tid (novel; title means "The Time of the Beast"), Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 1986.

Präriehundarna (fiction; title means "The Prairie Dogs"), Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 1987.

Vill gå hem? (fiction; title means "Want to Go Home?"), Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 1988.

Fru Björks öden och äventyr (fiction; title means "The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Björk"), Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 1990.

En komikers uppväxt (fiction; title means "Growing up a Comedian"), Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 1992.

Mormor gråter och andra texter (essays and other writings; title means "Grandma Is Crying and Other Texts"), Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 1993.

Frestelsernas berg (fiction; title means "Mount of Temptations), Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 1995.

Så går en dag ifrån vårt liv och kommer aldrig åter, Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 1998.

(Author of introduction) Elizabeth Ohlsson, Ecce homo, Föreningen Ecce Homo (Malmö, Sweden), 1998.

Oskuld och andra texter, Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 2000.

Ett UFO gör entré (title means "A UFO Makes an Entry"), Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 2001.

Om Gud, Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 2003.

Contributor to books, including Mellan handslag och samlag: Unga svenska berättare om AIDS: En HIV antologi, edited by Stig Nordlund, Brevskolan (Stockholm, Sweden), 1987; and "Ordning, redbarhet och snabb expedition": Svenska bokhandlareföreningen 1893–1993, edited by Thomas Rönström, Informationsförlaget (Stockholm, Sweden), 1995. Fiction and nonfiction writings have appeared in numerous Swedish periodicals, including Aftonbladet, Vår bostad, Expressen, and Dagens Nyheter.

Gardell's works have been translated into several languages, including Russian, French, and English.

PLAYS

Good Night, Mr. Moon, produced in Stockholm, Sweden, at Moderna museet, 1987.

Kim å Jonas jubelkavalkad, 1988.

Kim å Jonas går igen, 1989.

Lena och Percy, Präriehund, produced in Göteborg, Sweden, at Stadsteatern, 1989.

En fulings bekännelser, produced in Göteborg, Sweden, at Stadsteatern, 1989.

Isbjörnarna (also see below), produced in Stockholm, Sweden, at Stadsteatern, 1990.

En pall, en mikrofon och Jonas Gardell, produced in Stockholm, Sweden, at Konserthuset, 1991.

Cheek to Cheek (also see below), produced in Stockholm, Sweden, at Stadsteatern, 1992.

En finstämd kväll med Jonas Gardell, produced in Stockholm, Sweden at the Intiman Theater, 1993.

En annan sorts föreställning, Katrineholm (Kosmos, Sweden), 1995.

På besök i Mellanmjölkens land (title means "Visiting the Land of Two Percent"), produced in Göteborg, Sweden, at Lisebergshallen, 1996.

Människor i solen (also see below), produced in Stockholm, Sweden, 1997.

Isbjörnarna; Cheek to Cheek; Människor i solen: tre pjäser, Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 1997.

Komma tillbaka, Konserthuset. produced in Stockholm, Sweden, 1998.

Scheherzad, produced in Stockholm, Sweden, 1999.

Livet (also see below), produced in Göteborg, Sweden, at Lisebergshallen, 2000.

Helvatet är minnet utan makt att förändra, produced in Stockholm, Sweden, 2003.

Väckelsemöte, produced on tour throughout Scandinavia, 2004–06.

SCREENPLAYS

Ömheten, TV-Teatern, 1989.

En komikers uppväxt (produced on Swedish television, 1992), Norstedts (Stockholm, Sweden), 1992.

Pensionat Oskar (title means "Like It Never Was Before"), SVT Kanal 1 Drama, 1995.

(And director) Cheek to Cheek (based on Gardell's play of the same title), TV-Teatern, 1997.

Irma och Gerd (six-part television series), 1997.

Livet är en schlager (based on Gardell's play Livet), SVT Drama, 2000.

LYRICIST; RECORDINGS

(With Kim Hedås) Kim å Jonas: Klang och jubelkavalkad, Nonstop 033-07 (Göteborg, Sweden), 1989.

(Contributor of lyrics) Christer Sandelin, Till månen runt solen, Metronome, 1992.

En finstämd kväll med Jonas Gardell: Live på Intiman, Sony Bromma, 1994.

ADAPTATIONS: Fru Björks öden och äventyr has adapted as an opera.

SIDELIGHTS: Jonas Gardell is a Swedish writer and comedian. According to Paul Binding, writing in the London Guardian, Gardell has "broken his country's fixation with the norm with his gay sensibility expressed in novels, plays and outrageous one-man shows." Writing in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, a contributor noted that "Gardell's award-winning novel and greatest critical success, En komikers uppväxt ('Growing up a Comedian,' 1992), has already earned him a place in the contemporary canon of Swedish literature."

Among Gardell's novels are Passionsspelet ("The Passion Play"), in which the author tells the homosexual love story of Hampus and Johan in a story that parallels the Biblical account of the relationship between Jesus and Judas Iscariot; and Odjurets tid ("The Time of the Beast"), which relates the story of four individuals, including a woman dying of cancer, another woman hiding her past, and a homosexual couple named David and Fredrik. The Dictionary of Literary Biography essayist noted that all the characters in the latter title develop "the lies, myths, and illusions that they need in order to endure living." Another novel, Präriehundarna ("The Prairie Dogs"), focuses on the morality of a couple named Lena and Percy and their son, Reine, who live in a suburb of Stockholm. Regarding this work, the Dictionary of Literary Biography contributor observed, "Critics and reviewers have often claimed that Gardell is present in the book as the prosecutor, a character who occasionally breaks into the narrative to proclaim his own moral premises."

In his fourth novel, Vill gå hem, Gardell delves into the lives of the outwardly successful family man Rut and his unhappy sister, Rakel, who is married to an unloving husband. "Just as in Präriehundarna, an unknown presence appears in Vill gå hem under the guise of the author's remarks, which break up the narrative and comment upon the action in the novel," according to the Dictionary of Literary Biography writer. "The comments of this unknown character are often bitterly funny—a satirical retort to both the story at hand and life itself."

Frestelsernas berg ("Mount of Temptations") relates the story of a family falling apart partly due to its tumultuous past, including the abandonment of the father, a drug-abusing son, and another son named Johan who is a homosexual. "The reference to the biblical Temptation on the Mount, however, is most evident in Johan's mother, Maria," commented the essayist in the Dictionary of Literary Biography. "She lives among her mementos, which are kept carefully boxed, and grasps for a life that she will never regain. Somehow she knows that her life would be as easy to end as those of the monks who have carved their monastery out of the Mount of Temptation." In his novel Ett UFO gör entré ("A UFO Makes an Entry") Gardell tells the story of Juha and Jenny, two unhappy teenagers. Writing a review of Ett UFO gör entré in Publishing Trends, a critic noted: "Possibly the best of Gardell's 'tender yet cruelly accurate" tales to date, this book is said to dexterously juggle bathos, pathos, and polyester."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 257: Twentieth-Century Swedish Writers after World War II, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 2002, pp. 98-105.

PERIODICALS

Guardian (London, England), September 2, 2000, Paul Binding, "All Points North."

Nordic Business Report, September 16, 2002, "Swedish Comedian Becomes a Father, Enters Debate on Adoptions for Homosexual Couples."

Publishing Trends, November, 2001, "The Travolta Generation; Swingin' Sweden's Gardell, Finland's Eager Readers, and Greece's Turk in the Garden."

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