Educated in science at Stockholm's Institute of Technology, Hallstrom initially worked in industry as a chemical engineer. He spent two years in Philadelphia in the USA before returning to Sweden in 1890. He began to write and published a book of verse in 1891. Although the work wasn't that successful, he continued writing and in 1894, published his much praised short story collection, Strayed Birds. He went on to produce five novels and many plays, but it was his short stories that garnered the most praise. He was elected to the Swedish Academy in 1908. Between 1927 and 1946, he served as chairman of the Nobel Committee of the Academy. His other works include Purple (1895), The Jewel Brooch (1896), Thanatos (1900), Ungdomsnoveller (1923) and En Gammal Historia (1929).
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