Per Wästberg / Sweden

Per Wästberg(born 20 November 1933) is a Swedish writer and a member of the Swedish Academy since 1997.

Wästberg was born in Stockholm and holds a degree in literature from Uppsala University. He was editor-in-chief of Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, “Dagens Nyheter” (1976–1982).

Wästberg has campaigned extensively for human rights. He was President of the PEN International from 1979 until 1986 and founder of the Swedish section of Amnesty International (1963). In connection with this, he was involved in the anti-colonial movement. He was especially active in the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa, where he became a close friend of Nadine Gordimer.

He was expelled by the government in Rhodesia in 1959, and after the publication of his anti-Apartheid book På svarta listan (On the Black List) in 1960, he was banned from entering both Rhodesia and South Africa. He returned to South Africa only in 1990, after the release from jail of Nelson Mandela.

Photo by Max Lapitsky