Rapport från en skurhink
Book | Sweden
English title: Report from a Scrub Bucket
Keyword(s): lower class | cleaning occupations | single mothers | Sweden | diary | autobiography
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Maja Ekelöf’s Report from a Scrub Bucket (1970) is a Swedish literary classic. The book was published at a period when Swedish authors gave marginalized people a voice. Books could be about poor people, as in a report from a Chinese village (Sven Lindqvist 1963), or about miners’ situation in the north of Sweden ( Sara Lidman 1968). A single, middle-aged mother of five, Maja Ekelöf (1918–1989) adopted the diary form to describe her own work as a low-paid cleaning woman, her everyday family life, and the situation of the world from a socialist perspective. This was the voice of a new, active female subject. Boundaries between the private and public spheres were blurred, as were those between different genres of fiction. There were passages of diary writing, and of autobiography and report. Through consciousness raising and the urge of women’s and class experiences the book became an important intervention in the Swedish debate about gender and class equality. Consciousness-raising, with an emphasis on the experiences of women and class, the book became an important contribution to the Swedish debate about gender and class equality. / Summary by Anna Nordenstam