Eva Thors Rudvall: A life in the service of words
– A or AN, it isn't all that easy, is it? Eva asks as she moves around elegantly among the sentences as though each word were a key on a piano.
Behind her gentle sense of humour and kind character there is a dedicated teacher who has devoted herself to helping others to master the Swedish language.
As an Sfi-teachjer at Komvux in Eslöv Eva makes use of her competence to provide a learning environment which is both engaging and supportive. Her career as a teacher is strongly influenced by her engagement as an author, and vice versa.
– Yes, more than 30 years as an Sfi-teacher. It's both challenging and rewarding. Being able to teach immigrants Swedish has always motivated me, she says.
– The journey towards learning Swedish is anything but easy. I teach people who haven't been lucky enough to get a higher education in their home country, and there are some who have never even sat behind a desk in a classroom.
Eva's books aren't only educational tools, they also reflect Swedish society and culture. She writes in a style that is clear and simple which makes it easy for new Swedes to get a deep understanding of the texts.
For Eva, the magic key to integration is language.How can you talk about integration without an understanding of the language? Language is the key to progress, she explains.
– It's the key that opens all doors. By learning the language, people can understand one another, communicate and play a full part in the life of the community. It is crucial for their independence and their future here in Sweden.
Eva Thor Rudvall has also the ability to incorporate humour into her stories, which gives her texts an additional dimension. Heer readiness to laugh and her happy nature are reflected in her books, which makes them a pleasure to read.
But there is also a deeper meaning behind the humour. Through her books Eva wants not only to entertain but also to create an understanding of and empathy towards different experiences and situations in life.
What made you write about that subject in your latest book, 'Själaringning' (Death-knell)?
– The book is about grief and my own profound feelings when I lost my mother. We have all experienced, or will experience, grief in our lives.Through this book I want to show that grief is something we must speak about and battle our way through to be able to go on.
– Every single person has a story, and even when they reach the end of their life they deserve to be seen as more than simply a body to be taken care of.
Eva's books are read by thousands of readers every year. About 16,000 people borrow her books from the library.. 'It's rewarding to be able to reach out to so many people', she says.
But how do you get the balance of your life right between teaching and writing?
– I work half of my time as a teacher and half as an author, you can say.I got the idea of starting to write when I discovered that we need more books that help and support Swedish learners in a way that is simple and easily attainable.
Eva sums up her philosophy as simplicity and humility. Nobody knows (can do?) everything, but everyone knows(can do?) something, she says with a smile.
And what she has done has not passed unnoticed. She has recently received Östra Göinge's culture prize for 2020 for her work in the field of eaching materials and literature.
Are there any new exciting books in the pipeline?
– At present I'm working on a novel which raises subjects such as integration, life and death. I want to go on investigating the complex themes that affect our lives and create stories that challenge prejudices and encourage a community spirit.