Friday, April 2, 2021

Literary Sewing Circle: Amatka


Our Spring session of the Literary Sewing Circle is starting a little later than usual this year, but it's worth the wait. It's a genre that we haven't read together yet; dystopian speculative fiction, originally written in Swedish and translated by the author. I hope you'll take a chance on this unusual title and read along.

 I'm pleased to announce that our group read for this round is:

Amatka by Karin Tidbeck


Vanja, an information assistant, is sent from her home city of Essre to the austere, wintry colony of Amatka with an assignment to collect intelligence for the government. Immediately she feels that something strange is going on: people act oddly in Amatka, and citizens are monitored for signs of subversion.

Intending to stay just a short while, Vanja falls in love with her housemate, Nina, and prolongs her visit. But when she stumbles on evidence of a growing threat to the colony, and a cover-up by its administration, she embarks on an investigation that puts her at tremendous risk.

In Karin Tidbeck’s world, everyone is suspect, no one is safe, and nothing—not even language, nor the very fabric of reality—can be taken for granted. Amatka is a beguiling and wholly original novel about freedom, love, and artistic creation by a captivating new voice.

(from Publisher website)

(you can read an excerpt or listen to an extract at the publisher's website as well)

Credit: Patrik Åkervinda 2020

About The Author:

Karin Tidbeck lives and works in Malmö as a freelance writer and translator, and writes speculative fiction in Swedish and English. They debuted in 2010 with the Swedish collection Vem är Arvid Pekon? Their English debut, the 2012 collection Jagannath, received the Crawford Award and was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award. The novel Amatka was shortlisted for the Locus Award in 2018. Their second novel, The Memory Theater, came out in February 2021. Tidbeck’s short fiction is published at, Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed and more. They dedicate their free time to games, swordfighting and forteana. Find them online at and Instagram as @ktidbeck. 

This book is available for purchase in both hard copy and ebook formats.

You can find many formats at all of these locations:


Book Depository

Chapters Indigo


Barnes and Noble

ABE Books

Or, of course, check your local library!


How does the Literary Sewing Circle work? We read a book together, discuss it, and then make something inspired by our reading. As long as you can point out what inspired you from your reading, even if just a sentence, you can share your makes in our final roundup!

Anyone can join, and you can sew, knit, quilt or embroider - any textile art that you like doing - to participate. This is a reading/sewing circle, very low-key; no competitions here, just reading and sewing for fun. 

There is no official sign-up to worry about; just start reading along if you wish, and leave your thoughts on the book or your project on any of the Literary Sewing Circle posts. We do have a dedicated book discussion post halfway through and again at the end, but leave your thoughts anytime. And you can follow along on Instagram too if you like: look for #LiterarySewingCircle and you'll find us.

And when the final post goes up, so does the project linkup -- you can leave a link to your finished project there, whether it is on your blog, a pattern site, or even Instagram. It's easy :)

So, join in, and share!

Literary Sewing Circle Schedule

April 2 - Announcement & Introduction
April 9 - Inspiration post 

April 16
 - Author feature
April 23  
- Halfway mark: book talk
April 30
 - Inspiration post
May 7
 - Final Post: book discussion wrap up & posting of project linkup

(you will then have just over 3 weeks to finish your project and post it; we'll close the link-up on May 31)


  1. This sounds fascinating! Some of the description sounds very much like an Ursula K LeGuin story. I am going to check my library.

    1. Quite different in tone, more soviet realist in its speculative nature I'd say! But with many questions of the same kind arising. I hope you can find a copy.

  2. Thanks for this. I tried to join the last Literary Sewing Circle, but I just couldn't enjoy the book. I was able to place this book on hold at my library and hope to have it sometime next week. I'll give it a shot.

    1. Well, this one is very different, so worth trying again! I hope you'll give it a go.

  3. Wanted to offer a "people who liked this book also like..." suggestion. 'The City and The City' by China Mielville is a great sort of dystopian sci-fi detective novel.

  4. sounds cool...nothing in English on Amazon uk though dammit


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!