En låda apelsiner (A Crate of Oranges; 2023)

”Jackie, shall we write a book about this?”

I sat at a cafe, opposite journalist and author Jackie Jakubowski. And I was completely taken. Jackie, who was born in Katowice, in southern Poland, but came to Sweden in 1970 as an 18-year-old refugee, had just described his dramatic childhood to me. It was a childhood unlike anything I had ever heard of. I was stunned – and I was moved.

He looked at me earnestly. And he replied: ”If anyone is going to write the story of my life, it’s me.”

His answer was of course self-evident, and my suggestion almost presumptuous – a spontaneous reaction to what I had just heard. We started talking about other things.

Three years later, I got a phone call, from Jackie. He wanted to see me, and we met again in a cafe.

“Are you still interested in that book we were talking about?” he asked.

And then he told me that he had been diagnosed with a serious illness, one that would soon end his life. ”I will never be able to write my story,” he said. ”Would you want to?”

I immediately answered yes. And Jackie kept telling me. For as long as he could.

The novel A Crate of Oranges is the result.

                                                                                                                                                        Lena Einhorn

En låda apelsiner.