Hjalmar Soderberg (1869-1941) is one of Sweden's leading writers from the fin de siecle period. Perhaps best known for his elegantly crafted short stories (a selection of which has been published by Norvik Press), he was also the author of four novels, of which Martin Birck's Youth (1901) is the second. Drawing on his own childhood and early working life as a minor government official, Soderberg depicts his native Stockholm at the turn of the century from the perspective of a disillusioned outsider. Most of his works contain an underlying current of social and moral criticism, and the novels in particular caused controversy in their day with their frank exploration of sexual and moral issues. To support himself in his writing career, Soderberg worked as a journalist and literary critic. He later turned to writing philosophical and religious criticism, spending the latter part of his life in Copenhagen.