Lina Wolff

Many People Die Like You


An underemployed chef is pulled into the escalating violence of his neighbour’s makeshift porn channel. An elderly piano student is forced to flee her home village when word gets out that she’s had sex with her thirty-something teacher. A hose pumping cava through the maquette of a giant penis becomes a murder weapon in the hands of a disaffected housewife.

In this collection from the winner of Sweden’s August Prize, Lina Wolff gleefully wrenches unpredictability from the suffocations of day-to-day life, shatters balances of power without warning, and strips her characters down to their strangest and most unstable selves. Wicked, discomfiting, delightful and wry, delivered with the deadly wit for which Wolff is known, Many People Die Like You presents the uneasy spectacle of people in solitude, and probes, with savage honesty, the choices we make when we believe no one is watching . . .or when we no longer care.

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More Info

  • Lina Wolff’s debut novel, Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs, was published by And Other Stories in 2016, followed by The Polyglot Lovers in 2019.
  • Read Lina Wolff’s Q &A with Antonia Charlesworth in Big Issue North.
  • Translator Saskia Vogel and Lina Wolff discuss the tension of moving between ‘Spanishness’ and ‘Swedishness’ when writing, Lorca, Dante, literary travellers and their guides and the idea of irrationality and the artistic temperament in Episode 82 of Granta Magazine Podcast.
  • Read an excerpt from the story ‘No Man’s Land’, serialised in the Harper’s Magazine
Print status: Available
Author: Lina Wolff
Translator: Saskia Vogel
Original language: Swedish
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date (UK): 4 August 2020
Publication date (US): 1 September 2020
ISBN: 9781911508809
Ebook ISBN: 9781911508816
Availability: World English
Number of pages: 208


Eithne Farry
Daily Mail 

'Spirited . . . darkly funny.'  

Baya Simons
Financial Times

'Witty, acerbic short stories . . . wickedly thrilling.'    

Catherine Taylor
Irish Times

‘Wolff revels in turning the tables on expectation and convention. Each story [starts] without preamble, ostensibly casual, but always with authority.’  


‘[Wolff] explores the choices we make when we think no one is watching.’  

Stuart Walton
Hong Kong Review of Books

‘Nothing thwarts quite as excruciatingly as thwarted desire. Wanting what they can’t have is a speciality of many of these characters.’  

Kirkus Reviews

‘Wolff excels with the disaffected and the weird.’

Marta Balcewicz

‘Wolff shows us that while conventionality is, indeed, death, the opposite isn’t true: unconventionality isn’t life, and it won’t automatically make you happy.’

Francesca Brown
The Stylist

‘Dark, wicked and funny.’

Booksellers on Many People Die Like You

‘A good short story collection feeds our desire for interesting characters and good storytelling without demanding a large time commitment. Lina Wolff’s Many People Die Like You certainly meets those criteria. Her characters traverse compelling plots that often take them and us to unexpected and often uncomfortable places. Each of her well-crafted stories ends with enough left unexplained to keep us thinking beyond that last page and with the lingering pleasure of a story well-told. I do not often re-read, but these stories have enough complexity to bring me back to them again.’ Nancy Sims-West, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS


‘An immediate success for Lina Wolff ... Many People Die Like You is a more than promising debut. Lina Wolff is a skilled stylist and a good storyteller.’

Skånska Dagbladet

‘Stories so funny your neighbours would thank you if you read them aloud.’

Helsingborgs Dagblad

‘Many People Die Like You is full of life in motion. Depicted with such certainty that even the narrator’s voice must at times give way to the swelling language. And so, Lina Wolff has arrived as one of the important voices in Swedish literature. Not least because of the freedom the texts create for themselves. A freedom full of pleasure and humor alongside ever-present earnestness.’

 Kultureytt, Radio SR P1

‘Lina Wolff either quickly visits people who are happening to have a good, perhaps heightened conversation. Or, she tells a story with a beginning and end. Two approaches to the short story, here both are equally exciting to read.’

Svenska Dagbladet

‘It's a matter of course of Lina Wolff's way of writing, as though each formulation and twist has been there all along, just waiting to be written down by her. Perhaps it is a matter of self-esteem, combined with a drive that draws you instantly and relentlessly into her stories. / ... / Wolff creates a hypnotic pull around her characters, making the reader wish they could remain in the story, how crass and chewy the lives portrayed can seem. The main characters are as often men as they are women, and Wolff writes with equal ease from a female and a male perspective. Human as humans are: sad and comical, petty and grand.’

Femina magazine

‘Brilliant language, twisted intrigue and black humour.’

Vi magazine

‘Fantastic. Quiet, thoughtful and, in spite of all the suffering, very funny.’