Gosh, I just have too many things to post about and no time to write about them. We are having several guests from Scandinavia come to Gustavus to talk about the genre of the deckare, aka the Scandinavian Crime novel. For a description of the conference, the speakers, and a few articles and books on the topics, click the pic to the right of the screen. The deckare has been gaining in popularity worldwide after the success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (though the Swedish title means “Men who hate women”) by Stieg Larsson, although the genre has certainly been translated into English a few times before. I recently read the Danish author Peter Høeg‘s novel The Quiet Girl, and really enjoyed it (OK, the ending was a bit much, but still…) As with his earlier novel Smilla’s Sense of Snow (which became a movie as well), The Quiet Girl has a paranormal/science-fictional/supernatural (however you want to interpret it) twist to the deckare genre, something I enjoy, having grown up with science fiction and fantasy rather than crime novels. To get ready for this conference I also watched a couple episodes of Wallander, based on the books by Henning Mankell, a big name in the genre. I don’t actually like crime shows very much–too much violence and gore, I guess. I’m a softy.
Whether or not you can join us for this conference, you should certainly buy lots and lots of books by our guest authors! We have two novelists from Sweden, Helene Tursten and Kristina Ohlsson (just saw that she had to cancel, how sad!), and two Danish coauthors, Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis. I’m especially interested in reading some of Lene’s fantasy novels–I find fantasy and science fiction to be pretty rare and peripheral in Scandinavia, even if there is a pretty big audience for translated (or untranslated) English language fantasy and sci-fi. I believe Lene’s fantasies are still written for young-adult or younger, but hey, I just like finding Scandinavian lit in the genres I like most! I will post more about these genres in Scandinavia later– it’s pretty interesting! (well, imho) We also have the Swedish scholar Kerstin Bergman coming–you can find an article by her available free online, with a link on the conference webpage!
Well, that took me past my bedtime. I will see if I can put together more of an update of this, the royal visit, and the Nobel conference some other time– but no promises!