The Club: A Chronicle of Power and Abuse at the Heart of the Nobel Scandal
On November 22nd 2017, in the whirlwind autumn of the #metoo Movement, Sweden’s biggest daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, published an explosive investigative report of sexual assault that led to a series of events that rocked the international literary community and brought one of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions to its knees: The Swedish Academy.
Award-winning journalist Matilda Gustavsson’s exposé featured harrowing witness accounts from eighteen women who claimed they had been assaulted by a man married to an Academy member who was deeply embroiled in the institution’s workings – a man who came to be knows as “The Cultural Figure”. In the wake of the publication, internal fighting took over the Academy. Beyond the association with an alleged rapist who had used the Academy’s good name to exploit women for decades, allegations of corruption surfaced. The so-called Cultural Figure and his wife, an academy member and a renowned poet, together owned an influential private club – which was frequented by the country’s cultural elite. Rumours of abuse taking place in and around the club circulated. But just as with everything else surrounding the Academy, it was shrouded in silence. Until Matilda Gustavsson broke the story that drew the curtain on a dark world of abuse and exploitation.
The Club digs deep into the machinations that brought down one of the most respected, and secretive, cultural institutions and made the world’s premier literary prize implode before our eyes. Matilda Gustavsson depicts a unique international scandal while presenting an insightful portrayal of the dynamics of power and influence in the world of the arts. This is the riveting story of how power and influence can be wielded in the most elevated rooms of culture – and how art is created and lives are destroyed as a result.