Girls Lost


By Jessica Schiefauer

Translated by Saskia Vogel

An award-winning, magical contemporary novel of four adolescent girls’ friendship, exploring the transformation of bodies as a battlefield in the construction of self.

Publication Date: March 11, 2020

Paperback: 9781941920954
eBook: 9781941920961



What would you do if you could switch genders? What powers would you gain? What would you lose? And who would you be if you could change how you are perceived? Winner of Sweden’s most prestigious literary prize for young readers, Girls Lost is a YA-crossover thriller exploring these questions, following three teenage girlfriends: Kim, Bella, and Momo, whose developing bodies have become objects of abuse, both verbal and physical, by their male classmates.

Scared and uncomfortable, the girls often hide away in Bella’s greenhouse. One day, the three friends plant a strange seed in the greenhouse, and in a few days, a shimmering, magical flower blossoms. Intrigued, they drink the nectar from the flower, and suddenly find themselves transformed from girls to boys. The girls return night after night to drink from the flower, and as they fall deeper into the boy’s world, they discover a new reality, one of power and violence, of gangs and drugs. In this tale, the body is a battlefield, and masculinity as a drug

Brilliantly poetic and deeply poignant, this magical story was adapted into an internationally-renowned feature film exploring how we shape our identity, and how we cope with our own transformations.

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“Without doubt a worthy and interesting August Prize Winner.” — Aftonbladet

“Surprise of the year: Girls Lost /… / Completely unexpected and well executed.” — Smålandsposten

“Brave fantasy with existential questions /… / Well done to Jessica Schiefauer for not choosing the simple way.” — Sydsvenskan

“The style is unadorned, with powerful metaphors. The language is hard and soft; aware of the ferocity of a flower.” — Dagens Nyheter

“In a glowing and contemporary saga about love, death and rebirth [Jessica Schiefauer] helps her three teenage Orlando characters free themselves and explore the limits of the self. Together, and on their own, the three characters explore their genders, their bodies and their desires, beyond established boundaries. During the day they are “the girls”: the maladjusted, the exposed, the constantly observed. When night falls they become “the boys”: the anonymous observers. /… /…the borders of existence are – and must be permitted to be – so much larger than the volume restricted by the skin.” — Expressen