2009-10 Charles Pick Fellow
Birgit Larsson is Swedish and Icelandic but has spent her life moving between Europe and the US. She has degrees in English literature from Harvard and the University of Edinburgh. She worked as an Assistant Editor at W.W. Norton before becoming a Community Outreach Coordinator, mediator, and Restorative Justice facilitator for a non-profit in Brooklyn, NY. She has also been an ESL teacher, an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, and a wedding officiant. The novel Birgit worked on during the Fellowship was a darkly absurd travel narrative set in remote corners of Sweden and Iceland.
"On the fellowship (2009-2010) I worked on a novel tentatively called Last Monsters, set in the isolated province in northern Sweden. It’s about the death of a twelve year-old boy, the girls in his class, and his schoolteacher. I also worked on a dark, slightly magical realist novel set in a fishing village in Iceland. By the end of the fellowship, I ended up with rough drafts of both projects. I loved Norwich and the writing community so much that I stayed on after the fellowship and won a studentship to do a PhD in Social Work and Psychology at UEA. I have also continued to work painstakingly on the Swedish novel and am finally on my third edit. I was awarded a place on the Escalator Literature development scheme (2012) this week, which I hope will assist me to finish the novel and possibly get my other book into better shape."