Gunnel Beckman Critical Essays

Introduction

Gunnel Beckman 1910–

Swedish novelist and editor.

Beckman explores social themes as they relate to young adults. Her compassionate and realistic depictions of maturing characters suddenly faced with monumental concerns have earned the respect of both critics and readers.

Among the problems Beckman's young protagonists must deal with are death, the loneliness of living on one's own, and the various consequences, both emotional and physical, that arise from being sexually active. One of Beckman's most outstanding protagonists, Mia, of Mia Alone and That Early Spring, must make complex decisions as she faces pregnancy and an agonizing loneliness. That Early Spring has been commended for the sensitive, mutually beneficial relationship that develops between Mia and her aged grandmother.

Although some of the conflicts presented in Beckman's novels have been called melodramatic, the responses of her characters are considered refreshingly unique and believable. The credibility of her characters and their situations is not accidental; Beckman has based many of them on her experiences as a probation officer in her hometown of Solna.

(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 33-36, rev. ed. and Something about the Author, Vol. 6.)