Boyd Tonkin

Stockholm syndrome: The Family Clause, by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, reviewed

Love, fury, guilt and grief surface when a curmudgeonly patriarch visits his family in Sweden

The Stockholm waterfront. Credit: Getty Images

Some faint hearts may sink at the idea of a torrid Swedish family drama peopled with nameless figures identified only as ‘a grandfather who is a father’, ‘a sister who is a mother’, and so on. Stick around: this gets better. That grandfather, an immigrant trader who ‘could sell sand to a beach’ or ‘wind to a hurricane’, remembers his first taste of Swedish TV: a child- ren’s programme featured ‘two different coloured socks with sequins for eyes’ discussing ‘how vital class struggle was for a happy society’.

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