Lena Persson was a multi-faceted freelance journalist who was known for her humour and sardonic nature.
Lena Persson was born in 1944. She was the only child of Signe and Emil Persson. Her father worked in construction. She grew up in financially strained circumstances in Lund. Her mother died when she was a young teenager and the situation at home worsened.
When she was 16 Lena Persson moved to Gothenburg. She gained her school-leaving certificate there in 1964. She then read literature at the university, gained her qualifications from Journalistinstitutet (the institute of journalism) in Gothenburg in 1967. She then became a freelance writer. She moved to Stockholm and eventually came to live with her husband, Arne Ruth, in northern Uppland.
Lena Persson was a freelance writer who had a broad-ranging interest in culture. She referred to herself as a multi-faceted writer – she appears to have though it slightly arrogant to be titled as ‘a writer’. The multifaceted nature of her character was apparent in the books she wrote or edited. She was a member of the editorial board for Fnitter and wrote “En Alicehistoria”, for example, for Fnitters sagobok för stora flickor, published in 1985. She spent ten years as editor of Kvinnokalender, from 1977–1986, where the theme was women’s history. She contributed to anthologies, such as Pappa – en kärlekshistoria, published in 1986, in which she describes the ugly men of her childhood and living alone with a grieving father. This was followed by her 1987 book Folkhemsprinsessan, which told of growing up during the 1950s, and the 1991 book Damkonfekt och salta bönor, about female writers of causerie-style articles ranging from Fanny Alving to Kajsa Olsson.
Lena Persson’s interest in the radio is not only apparent from her radio commentary in Dagens Nyheter, and in the 1994 book Radio: en bok för radioter. The cultural radio programmes which she produced during the 1980s together with Maarja Talgre and Claire Wikholm can also be seen as expressions of her interest in radio. These programmes were a hit. Long before the existence of radio pods these three women released various ferocious and satirically humorous programmes surveying the phenomenon of popular culture. An example of one of these programmes is Tantsnask which, in 1987, was awarded the Ikaros prize. Lena Persson also wrote for the theatre. For example, in 1987 she and Sven-Hugo Persson co-wrote the revue-show Alice Babs bor inte här längre for Stockholms stadsteater.
Murder mysteries were yet another one of Lena Persson’s interests. She reviewed other author’s thrillers, she was a member of the Expressen newspaper’s ‘Sherlockjury’, and she was elected onto Svenska Deckarakademi (Swedish murder mystery academy). In Kvinnornas litteraturhistoria, del 2, 1900-talet she contributed an entry on female thriller-writers entitled “Den klufna ormen och dess efterföljare”, published in 1983.
Lena Persson died in March 1999 following a period of illness.