Helena von Zweigbergk about Marie Fredriksson in Cancerfonden’s magazine

In the Nr. 3 2020 issue of Cancerfonden’s magazine, Rädda Livet (Cancer Foundation, Save Life), author and journalist Helena von Zweigbergk writes a chronicle about her friend Marie Fredriksson, how she admires her way of dealing with the difficult.

The title is Strong, stubborn, warm Marie. Helena tells that in December 2019 she got a phone call from some newspaper or radio or TV program while she was on her way to a studio for recording the reading of a book she had written a long time ago. The caller wondered if she had heard that Marie Fredriksson passed away. Helena remembers the wording, ”passed away”. She knew what it meant, but couldn’t process. She asked „where?”, to pull herself together and push the call away. There was no way she could tell anything. She knew it would happen. Helena and Marie had seen each other not too long ago and that meeting is stored in Helena’s private innermost being. Still, the news was shocking for her.

When they met to talk about writing a book together, Marie had a strong desire: ”People need to know what it’s like to be part of such a thing I’ve been through,” she said with the eyes filled with tears. She could be in despair, have angry tears, but always wiped them away with determined hands, Helena says. Then came what felt like Marie’s constant mantra: ”But it gets better. You have to think positively. It gets better.”

Helena could look into Marie’s expressive eyes and wonder how she could emotionally deal with being invaded by the evil forces of brain cancer. Marie was a fighter, Helena always thought so and said that many times, and she is not the only one. Marie’s struggle was not only physical survival, but also mental. To never let go of hope. Helena thinks one can say that it ended unhappily physically, but not mentally. She thinks hope and light were with Marie all the way and Helena is glad for Marie’s sake, that she managed to keep it.

Another friend of Helena who suffered from severe cancer, but survived, told her that she felt unsuccessful because she didn’t feel enlightened or closer to life than before. That she just thought it was awful, that she was mostly angry and didn’t feel like an admirable fighter at all, even though of course she was.

According to Helena, few things require as much courage as starting to approach one’s own or a loved one’s end. She can really understand someone who doesn’t have the strength or maybe even wants to be stoic on the road. Then at some point you should be able to turn your attention completely inwards.

Thanks for the hint, Paula Cafiero Högström!

Interview with Helena von Zweigbergk – “I’ve never met anyone who has had the strength of Marie Fredriksson”

24.hu in Hungary did an e-mail interview with Helena von Zweigbergk in connection with the Hungarian edition of Marie Fredriksson’s biography (Listen To My Heart – Hallgass a szívemre) and published it yesterday, on Marie’s birthday.

The interview has a nice intro. Referring to the book, it says that the positive attitude to life and the spiritual power shines through the biography. By reading it, we can understand how Marie was able to defeat cancer and win almost two decades so she could see her children grow up and even be on stage again, even though years ago it seemed utterly unlikely.

Journalist Bence Inkei’s first question to Helena is if she stayed in touch with Maire after finishing the book in 2015. Helena says she visited Marie many times in her home. They had coffee and ate her favourite cinnamon rolls while they were talking and laughing a lot. And of course they were crying too. They became very good friends while they were working on the book. Afterwards, unfortunately, they couldn’t meet as often as they would have liked, as Helena had to work and Marie lived far away from her. But they stayed in a very good relationship.

According to 24.hu, the end of the book seemed pretty optimistic: it was spring, Marie was preparing for Roxette’s summer tour, but from the epilogue it turns out that the band stopped touring not long after, because of Marie’s condition. They ask Helena if it was unexpected that Marie’s condition got worse. Helena doesn’t really know. She says that for Marie, touring was a huge effort already back then. All the stress, the tight tour schedule, the travelling would have worn out anyone who was in a condition like her. She had constant problems with her legs, she could only perform while sitting. Everyone knew how hard it was. She loved her fans and being on stage, but it was too exhausting for her by then.

24.hu is curious about how Marie spent her life after publishing the book. Helena tells she spent it at rest. She loved being at home and living by her own rules. So whenever she could, she was at home. She loved her garden and spending her time with her family. She could hardly walk and that caused her a lot of sadness. On the other hand, it was a relief that she was no longer under any pressure.

To the question if Marie had any unfinished plans Helena replies that Marie was a very creative person who could express herself in many ways. She talked about writing a book of poems and writing even more new music. She also wanted to write something about her mother’s life, to express her love for her and tell her story.

24.hu asks if Marie’s traumatic childhood due to the tragedy that happened in her family helped her to fight against cancer for so long. According to Helena it probably helped. She has never met anyone who has had the strength of Marie. She seemed very shy in a way, but she was as stubborn as a mule and had the power of a tiger. Neither as a child nor as an adult was she pampered. She always knew she had to fight for what she wanted to achieve.

Based on the book, it’s not entirely clear for 24.hu whether Per and Marie were real friends or just co-workers. Helena thinks they were good friends. They made this incredible journey together and had known each other for a very long time. As Helena saw it, their relationship was pretty close, but it’s also true that outside of working together, they didn’t meet too often. They lived far away from each other and Marie had to live a very calm life to be able to go on tour and get enough rest.

One of the most shocking part of the book for Bence Inkei was that a tabloid provided false info about Marie’s condition, but they could get out of it without any consequences. Helena confirms that there were no legal consequences. Marie might have been able to get them punished, but then they would have had to go through that hell again and that would have occupied their thoughts. That would have placed a heavy burden on the family when they were going through a difficult period anyway.

24.hu asks if it is a coincidence that ABBA appears only once in the book. If there was any rivalry between Roxette and them. Helena doesn’t think so. They were popular in different times and in different styles. They respected each other.

According to 24.hu, Roxette still has a very strong and active fan base in Hungary. They ask Helena where she sees the band has the most fans. Helena many times wondered how much love Marie and Roxette had received from all over the world. For example, when Helena and Marie had a book signing session together in a store in Stockholm, a South African family was the first in line. They travelled just to meet Marie and ask her for an autograph. Helena knows Roxette has a big fan base in South America and of course in Hungary too.

Marie described herself as a kind of “rock and roll personality”. As a last question, 24.hu asks how Helena saw it. Helena tells Marie loved this attitude. She didn’t want to look kind and harmless. She loved wearing black leather stuff and partied a lot before her illness in real rock and roll style. There was some kind of raw power in her voice through which she could express her true self.

You can order the Hungarian edition of Marie’s biography HERE.

CONTEST – Win Marie Fredriksson’s biography in Hungarian!

As we already informed you earlier, Marie Fredriksson’s biography has been published in Hungarian. Title of the book became Listen To My Heart – Hallgass a szívemre. A longtime Hungarian fan, Zoltán Dúl decided to translate the book from Swedish into Hungarian and fortunately, a publishing company, G-ADAM Könyv- és Lapkiadó Kft. (in cooperation with SzépKönyvek Kiadó) was interested in releasing it. Thank you, Zoltán, for the initiative and your work!

As you all probably know by now, I’m Hungarian too, so I was excited to see that the book would be available in my mother tongue. I’m a fan of reading books and watching movies in their original language and of course I read the biography in Swedish when it was published years back, but it’s a big thing that after several other countries, Hungary is the next one where this wonderful book is out. (I know, I know… still no English version. Sigh…) I was among the first ones pre-ordering it online to be picked up in the shop. The planned publishing date was 28th February and I planned to read it at the weekend, but due to a slight delay it arrived to the shops only on 4th March, so it became a birthday reading for me. What I liked to see when I went to get my copy at the shop was that among hundreds of different books waiting for being picked up by their new owners I could see several copies of Marie’s biography on the online order pick-up shelves, also waiting for their new owners. So lovely!

Reading the book for the first time in Swedish was amazing. Reading Marie’s story in her own words, her thoughts on her life and life in general, her childhood, her tragedies, the ups and downs, her illness, her fabulous family and her fantastic career was a rollercoaster of emotions. Heartbreaking and heartwarming parts are equally present in the book and Marie’s love for life and her always fighting, amazon personality shines through all her words. She won’t ever stop being an inspiration to so many people all around the world! Now reading it all again after 5 years and most importantly, after what happened on 9th December 2019, put some parts in the book in a different light. Impossible to read it without tears in the eyes.

As I can see there are only a few differences vs. the original Swedish book. There are much less pictures in the Hungarian version and there are photos that are not in the Swedish biography, but I think some pictures I saw in the books published in other languages. The leather jacket pics on the Swedish inside covers are skipped in the Hungarian version. The book is translated from Swedish, but the last chapter here is the same extra chapter that you could read in the German version. Otherwise there are no new texts. The only reference to 9th December is on the back cover of the book.

It’s very nice that the publisher decided to donate 1% after each sold copy of the book to Alapítvány a Daganatos Betegek Gyógyításáért és Rehabilitációjáért (Foundation for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Cancer Patients).

THIS site is in Hungarian, but this is the official website for the book where one can also order it with a 20% discount.


The publisher of the book was kind enough to offer 3 copies of the Hungarian book for a RoxBlog contest. It’s probably most interesting to Hungarian Roxers, but maybe collector fans would also be glad to have an exotic language book in their collection. So anyone is welcome to take part in the contest.

In order to participate, answer the following questions correctly:

  1. In which year was Marie’s biography published for the first time in its original language and what was the title of it? – 2015, Kärleken till livet
  2. In how many languages has the biography been published until now, including the actual Hungarian release? – 5 (Swedish, German, Czech, Spanish, Hungarian)
  3. How many times did Roxette play live in Hungary? – 3 (1992, 2011, 2015)

Send an e-mail with your name, address and the correct answers to the questions to rxbcontests@gmail.com until 23:59 CET, 15th March 2020. The 3 lucky winners will be announced shortly after. Sok szerencsét! (Good luck!)

Contest terms and conditions:
– In order to participate, you have to send an e-mail to rxbcontests@gmail.com with name, address and correct answers to the 3
questions. We will consider all e-mails we receive until 23:59 CET on 15th March 2020.
– 3
winners will be picked randomly among those who have participated and sent the correct answers.
– You can only participate once, any attempt to participate twice or more times will lead to your disqualification.
– Prizes won’t be paid out in cash. Prizes will be sent by registered
mail only once.
– The winners will be announced on this website, on our Facebook page and will also be notified per e-mail. You’ll be required to answer the e-mail confirming your address.
– RoxetteBlog.com will not enter into any correspondence regarding the result of the contest and is not liable for any damages, loss or expenses that may result in connection to the prizes.
– By taking part in the contest, personal data (first name, surname, e-mail address and address) will be collected. These data are needed in order to run the contest, particularly in order to match participation applications to their entries as well as to identify and notify the winners. This method of processing data is therefore required pursuant to Article 6 Paragraph 1 lit b of the GDPR to fulfil contractual obligations. The personal data collected will be processed and used by RoxetteBlog.com only to the extent that is required in order to run the contest. The personal data will be stored for the duration of the contest and – in order to process any claims relating to winnings and damages – for a maximum of 6 months afterwards and they will then be deleted. By participating you agree to all above mentioned and your name being published on this website as well as on social media channels in case you win.






UPDATE on 16th March 2020: 3 winners are picked. They are: Nikolett Házas, Gabriella Vadasi and Márton Mihályfi. The winners are informed via e-mail too.

Spanish edition of Marie Fredriksson’s biography

Marie Fredriksson’s autobiography, Kärleken till livet was first published in Swedish in 2015, then in German in 2016 (Listen to my heart: Meine Liebe zum Leben) and in Czech in 2017 (Listen to my heart: Moje láska k životu). On 18th June 2019 the book was finally released in Spanish (Listen to my heart)! We are still badly missing an English version. Maybe one day…

You can order the Spanish edition HERE!

From what we know, in Argentina the Spanish version was released only as an e-book, so fans started a petition that you can sign HERE if you also want the book to be published physically in Argentina.

Longtime fan Bianca Martins Cappelletti took some pictures of the Spanish edition. Here you can see those pages that contain different photos vs. the Swedish version. Could be that these photos already appeared in the German and Czech versions, because I remember I saw at least some of these.

Marie Fredriksson’s Czech book release party – a fan’s report

As you all know, Marie Fredriksson’s autobiography, Kärleken till livet was published in Sweden in 2015. All fans had been longing for at least an English version as well, but instead of it being published in English first, 1 year after the Swedish release, the book was published in German. The German edition, Listen to my heart: Meine Liebe zum Leben contains an extra chapter and some additional photos vs. the Swedish edition. Another surprise came when we heard the book would be translated into Czech and would be published in the Czech Republic this year. Listen to my Heart: Moje láska k životu has been published just now and there was a big party for its release. The event happened at Hard Rock Café in Prague on 3rd October. Longtime fan, Valeria Zvarova was there at the party and wrote her report on it. Please, read her story below. She also shared info on the difference between the Czech and the German edition of the book.

Event – The RockSet live at Hard Rock Café and christening of the Czech version of Marie’s book

3.10.2017 in Prague

As you may know, because of the event held at Hard Rock Café back in 2015, prior to the real Roxette gig at O2 Arena in Prague, there is a really great Rox revival band in Prague. It’s the singers Zuza Nová and Ondra Gorcík with their band, they call themselves The RockSet – the World Roxette Tribute band. If you want to learn more about them, click HERE.

From Hard Rock Café and publishing house Dobrovsky, which released the book in Czech, this band got an invitation to represent Roxette and christen Marie’s book at a live concert on the stage of Hard Rock Café. There are several of us Roxers here in Prague, who are friends with this band and we follow their gigs and try to help a little when possible. This time the band recorded an invitation video which we shortly translated and equipped with subtitles and posted on Rox-related Facebook sites and groups. And even Per himself shared the information posted by RoxetteBlog!

We were sure, this would be a real event for all of us fellow Roxers and yes, there were many of us there yesterday evening, and even some friends from Sweden, who really enjoyed the show with us, dancing close to the stage!

Before the concert, we picked up a bunch of white roses and the cake, a suitable one in the form of a book – and we managed to get good places at the venue. Before the start, the screen rolled down in front of the stage, showing a short video with the information about the event, about Marie, nice pictures from the book and this event was also joint with the Charity foundation Mamma Help, supporting patients suffering from breast cancer. If you bought the book there, from the price of 299 CZK /approx 10 EUR/, 100 CZK went to charity.

When the concert began, we all gathered at the stage – which is not so easy because of the fact that there is a bar placed in the middle of the venue, directly in front of the stage. During the performance, some of us gave a white rose to Zuza after our favourite songs.

The concert went on and the band was simply great on stage – as Per would say maybe – Zuza was in top shape.

The first break was filled with the christening act itself. The publisher couple Dobrovsky, representatives of Hard Rock Café and charity Mamma Help gathered on the stage. The cake was brought on a table and champagne was ready at the edge of the stage.

Zuza was presenting the event, talking about the charity and about the fact that the book was released by Dobrovsky publishing house in Czech as the third language worldwide – a fact which is truly unbelievable… and also about their cooperation with Hard Rock Café.  Zuza was talking about Marie, her life and also, this was very touching, she thanked the Czech Roxers for the support they get – we are honoured… Then they poured a little champagne on the book, we handed over some more white roses and the event was soon ending.

The concert continued with the second part. There were many Roxers cheering, having fun, dancing and singing along…  also the tourists went wild. I know, yes, you may say, it’s just a revival. Yes, we know that – and we do not consider them being Rox – but this is so close to Rox you can get, with full power on stage like before, great voices, performing and acting sometimes the way Rox did – even though they do not know the shows by heart like we do, in fact they have hardly seen them! And visually, yes, sometimes you get the feeling like it was really her… it’s almost unreal, we would say. And they are all great friends, since several years we have known them.  We hope they will continue bringing us Rox music and the feelings being 14 again for many years to come! Especially since we know, we would never see Roxette live together again…

We from the Czech Roxette fanclub would also like to express our thanks to the singers Zuza Nová, Ondra Gorcík and all of the members of the band.

There will be some videos and photos done by Lenka Kohoutová as well. All in all, it was a great evening and we hope for more to come!


  1. Dressed For Success
  2. Perfect Day
  3. How Do You Do!
  4. Fading Like A Flower
  5. Wish I Could Fly
  6. Almost Unreal
  7. It Must Have Been Love

Then christening itself on the stage.

  1. Joyride
  2. Things Will Never Be The Same
  3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
  4. She’s Got Nothing On (But the Radio)
  5. Run To You
  6. Spending My Time
  7. June Afternoon
  8. The Big L.
  9. Dangerous
  10. Fireworks
  11. Hotblooded
  12. Listen To Your Heart
  13. The Look

* extra Sleeping In My Car

Some facts about the Czech version of Marie’s book:

The Czech version is slightly different to the German one – mainly in colour. The Czech one is published with light blue cover at the back and inside. The title remained yellow.  That was probably because of keeping the Swedish colours – well, fine for me.

Photos are the same as in the German version, as well as the chapters.

The book is a bit smaller vs. the German version – with every language, it becomes smaller somehow – but anyway, it is a unique fact that the Czech version got released earlier than a possible English or Spanish edition or in other more important languages… it was a real surprise for us all and another confirmation of the fact how big Roxette are in our country.

And just one mistake we found, looking roughly  – a picture of the Look Sharp! era is captioned with year 1998.

So, each year there is another language release, maybe one day we will see an English version as well. 😉 Fingers crossed!





Pictures in the article by Lenka Kohoutová and Valeria Zvarova.

Thank you for your report, Valeria!