The Roofing Ceremony is a powerful, ultimately hopeful short novel that will revise the narrow view of August Strindberg as merely a misogynist and the gloomiest of Scandinavian writers. This novel has an inwardness, irreducibly and complexly human, that looks back to Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich and forward to Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape. Published in Sweden in 1906 and never before translated into English, The Roofing Ceremony (Taklagsoel) anticipates in its turbulent intensity the chamber plays Strindberg was soon to write. It is about a dying man, once an explorer but now a museum curator, who reviews his tumultuous life aloud as he drifts in and out of a morphine-induced sleep. Sometimes fragmentary, sometimes episodic, this impressionistic monologue builds up a vivid and nuanced portrait of the curator and his estranged wife, chronicling passionately but also humorously the descent of their marriage from island idyll into bitter comedy into tragic estrangement. Strindberg anticipated in this work the modern psychological novel and the technique of stream-of-consciousness. A curious, brief narrative Strindberg meant to incorporate into The Roofing Ceremony but never did is also included in this book, as well as a story called The Silver Lake written in 1898, which also appears in English for the first time. A museum curator, summering on a Baltic island, seeks out a forbidden lake and shares its enchantment with his wife and children. But his marriage is doomed, and when he returns to the lake alone, its mystery turns sinister.