The Greener Abyss

Johanna Nilsson


Rights sold

Sweden: Forum

What is happiness? What is freedom? How shall we live our lifes? Would the road in the middle, the democratic society’s way lead us right? Questions that are more important than ever. Karin Boye’s dystopian 1940 novel Kallocain is one of the classics of Swedish literature. In Johanna Nilsson’s continuation one of its main characters, Linda Kall, has fled the totalitarian society, described in the original, for the relative freedom of the Desert City. She gets a job as a gardener and is reunited with her daughters. But even here threats remain from both within and without. Together with her daughter Laila she, like her husband in Kallocain, develops a drug named Kallocain 2 to be used to pacify the citizens. The original’s pacifist message is renewed in this novel, without becoming a pastiche. Human beings’ free will is discussed with great poignancy alongside a thriller-like plot that reveals the continuing urgency of the theme. A Swedish classic is reborn in a thriller-like version


430 pages



"Johanna Nilsson is good at writing warm-hearted, pure and touching when it comes to feelings of love, longing or loss."

Snowflake blog


"Very interesting, exciting and memorable!

Blog Jennie


"Johanna Nilsson lifts up the debate on the perfect society. And it's done with an unbelievable skill. A really readable book. Much of the success comes from her ability to relate to Karin Boye's Kallocain, but also because the book is working by itself without Kallocain in mind."

Bokstaden blog


"It is all the time very naked and intrusively written, when people reveal their innermost even without truth serum. Nilsson shines with intensity and sensitivity in her language, a writing that touches me in my innermost."

Skånska Dagbladet


"The greener the depth is a catchy, suggestive, dark and beautiful fairy tale rescued from degenerating into overly glorified melodrama thanks to the beauty of Nilsson's language and her sense of humor"

Kyrkans tidning


"In The Greener Abyss Johanna Nilsson cleverly continues building upon Karin Boye’s dystopia from 1940."

Upsala Nya Tidning


"A masterful novel, a worthy continuation of Karin Boye’s book and a reminder of how valid the topic unfortunately still is."

Svenska Dagbladet


"Nilsson writes with an energetic style and has great imagination, she should have all possible praise for the bold work. The conflict between freedom and state control, between the individual and the collective becomes clear."



"A successful continuation of Karin Boye’s Kallocain."