Cora Sandel

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Cora Sandel (20 December 1880, Oslo — 3 April 1974, Uppsala) was the pen name of Sara Cecilia Görvell Fabricius, a Norwegian writer and painter who lived most of her life abroad. Her most famous works are the novels now known as the Alberta Trilogy.


Sara Cecilia Görvell Fabricius was born in Kristiania (now Oslo). Her parents were Jens Schow Fabricius (1839–1910) and Anna Margareta Greger (1858–1903). When she was 12 years old, financial difficulties forced her family to move to Tromsø where her father was appointed a naval commander. She started painting under the tutelage of Harriet Backer, and while still a teenager moved to Paris, where she married the Swedish sculptor Anders Jönsson (1883-1965). In 1921 they returned to Sweden, where she won custody of her son Erik after divorcing Jönsson.

In her youth she tried, without much success, to establish herself as a painter. And it wasn't until she was 46 years old that her debut novel, Alberte and Jakob was published, the first in what became the semi-autobiographical Alberta trilogy. Sandel used many elements from her own life and experiences in her stories, which often centre on the spiritual struggles of inarticulate and isolated women. The Alberta trilogy traced the emotional development of a lethargic and unhappy girl into a self-sufficient woman. These novels earned her an immediate place in the Scandinavian canon, but it was not until the...
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