MINNEAPOLIS, MN –The American Swedish Institute (ASI) welcomes Jonas Hassen Khemiri, one of the most important writers of his generation in Sweden. The August Prize-winning author and playwright will be in Minneapolis on Saturday, April 30, 10:30 a.m. to noon for a reading of his play ≈[Almost Equal To]. The work premiered to sold-out audiences at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm and was recently translated to English. The reading will be held at ASI, 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407. This event is free, but registration is requested. Please visit ASImn.org or call 612-871-4907.
The reading will feature excerpts of ≈[Almost Equal To] interpreted by actors from ASI’s presenting partner Pillsbury House Theatre, directed by Ellen Fenster. A question and answer session with Jonas Khemiri and translator Rachel Willson Broyles will follow. Special thanks to promotional partner Milkweed Editions.
In ≈[Almost Equal To] we encounter a number of people who are colliding with the economy surrounding them. Martina dreams about growing her way out of the contemporary economic system, Mani wants to crush it. Andrei is looking for a job, Freja is seeking revenge. They all invest money in postage and pine nuts, fake bubbles and perfumes, strollers and utopias. Everyone seems invaded by numbers. How are we, our eyes, our words, our bodies affected by the economic system that surrounds us? ≈ [Almost Equal To] is a funny and brutal play that tries (and fails?) to give the audience a maximized entertainment value for every dollar invested.
Jonas Hassen Khemiri is the author of four novels and six plays. When his debut novel, One Eye Red (Ett öga rött) was published in 2003, Khemiri’s eccentric and imaginative prose made a huge splash and reached an audience far beyond traditional literary circles. The book-turned-phenomenon was awarded the Borås Tidning Award for Best Literary Debut Novel and also became an enormous bestseller, selling over 200,000 copies in paperback – the most of any book, all categories, in Sweden in 2004.
Khemiri’s equally original second novel, Montecore: The Silence of the Tiger (Montecore – en unik tiger), (Knopf 2011) was published to rave reviews and was awarded the prestigious P.O. Enquist Literary Prize, won Swedish Radio’s Award for Best Novel of the Year, and was nominated for the August Award, the highest literary prize in Sweden. Upon its U.S. publication by Alfred A Knopf, The New York Times Book Review dubbed the novel “wondrous.”
His most recent novel, All I Don’t Remember, was awarded the August Prize, which is Sweden’s most important national literary award, given by the Swedish Publisher’s Association. Khemiri’s work has been translated into more than fifteen languages and his plays have been performed by over 100 international companies. In 2011 Invasion! received its U.S. premiere in New York and Khemiri was awarded a Village Voice Obie Award for playwriting.
Thanks to presenting partner Pillsbury House Theatre and director by Ellen Fenster for their contributions, and promotional partner, Milkweed Editions, for helping to get the word out to the community. Generous support for this reading was provided by the Swedish Arts Council and the Martin E. Segal Theater Center/City University of New York
THE AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE (ASI) is a vibrant arts and cultural organization, museum, and historic home located at 2600 Park Avenue near downtown Minneapolis. ASI serves as a gathering place for people to share stories and experiences around universal themes of tradition, migration, craft and the arts, all informed by enduring ties to Sweden. In 2013, the Wall Street Journal called ASI “[a] model of how a small institution can draw visitors through exciting programming.” www.ASImn.org.
ASI Museum Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Noon-5 p.m.; Wednesday, Noon-8 p.m.; Saturday. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday. Noon-5 p.m., closed Monday. Museum Admission: $10 adults, $7 ages 62 +, $5 ages 6-18 and full-time students with ID. Free for ASI members and kids ages 5 and under. FIKA, ASI’s award winning café, is open until 5 p.m. The ASI Museum Store is open until 5 p.m., except for Wednesday when both remain open until 8 p.m. Purchases can also be made through ShopSwedish.com. For more information, visit ASImn.org or call 612-871-4907.
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Karen R. Nelson | Marketing & Communications Manager | 612-870-3373
American Swedish Institute | 2600 Park Avenue | Minneapolis, MN 55407-1090 | 612-871-4907
Karen.N@ASImn.org | www.ASImn.org