Scandinavian Literature in Translation || Littérature scandinave en traduction

Archive for January 2009

Stieg Larsson: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Paperback)

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Forthcoming paperback release:

Millennium 1: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson
23 June 2009
$13.50 in Canada

See also: hardback edition
En français : Les hommes qui n’aimaient pas les femmes


Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared off the secluded island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger family. There was no corpse, no witnesses, no evidence. But her uncle, Henrik, is convinced that she was murdered by someone from her own deeply dysfunctional family. Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired to investigate, but he quickly finds himself in over his head. He hires a competent assistant: the gifted and conscience-free computer specialist Lisbeth Salander, and the two unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

Written by Thomas

2009-01-29 at 09:23

Karin Fossum: The Water’s Edge

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The Water’s Edge
Karin Fossum

Harvill Secker
ISBN 978-1-84655-170-3
25 August 2009
$24.95 in Canada*

ISBN 978-0-15-101421-7
4 August 2009
$33.95 in Canada*

* Both Harvill (Random House UK) and Harcourt (Houghton Mifflin USA) are claiming to hold Canadian rights on this title. We’ll see how it all shakes out this summer…


Walking through the woods to Lake Linde one warm September day, Reinhardt and Kristine Ris pass a man who is in a state of agitation. Unusually in a small town, he does not return Kristine’s smile and drives off in a hurry. Near the end of their walk they make a terrible discovery: lying in a cluster of trees is the lifeless body of a young boy. It is a moment that will change their lives for ever. Inspector Sejer is called to the scene, but can find no immediate cause of death. That evening he is faced with the heavy task of telling the boy’s mother that her missing son has been found. As the weeks go by, the appeal for the man seen in the woods to come forward remains unanswered. A once peaceful community is deeply shaken and the children lose their freedom to walk alone and play wherever they wish. Then a second boy goes missing.


A married couple, Rikard and Kristine are out for a Sunday walk when they discover the body of a boy. And a man limping away. They alert the police, but not before Rikard, to Kristine’s horror, kneels down and takes photographs of the dead child with his cellphone. The imperturbable Sejer and Skarre begin the investigation. The boy was an only child and it appears that he died from an asthma attack following the trauma of being molested. Meanwhile, the couple’s marriage begins to unravel as Rikard becomes obsessed with the case and his own part in it. Soon thereafter another boy disappears and the mood in the town grows more tense as parents fear a predatory pedophile is on the loose.

Written by Thomas

2009-01-25 at 18:22

Katarina Mazetti : God and I Broke Up

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God and I Broke Up
Katarina Mazetti
House of Anansi Press
ISBN 978-0-88899-617-6
21 October 2004
$9.95 in Canada

En français : Entre Dieu et moi, c’est fini

It’s worth noting that the French edition of this novel is marketed to the general public, while this edition in English is presented as a ‘young adult’ novel.


You can think about what happens after death and about whether God really exists. You can think about why parents get divorced all the time, why it’s always the wrong guy who likes you, where all the zits and pimples come from? You can think a lot about life. And Linnea thinks a lot. But when she becomes friends with Pia, it’s like a meeting of twin souls. Pia is someone she can talk to – about everything. About guys, about the afterlife, about Markus’s tanned neck, about politics…and more about guys. So why did Pia have to go and kill herself?

With self-deprecating candor, sixteen-year-old Linnea recounts the year following Pia’s suicide and her struggle to claim her grief over her lost soul mate. By turns uproarious and intensely sad, Linnea’s voice brings both her inner and outer worlds vividly to life for young readers, portraying the confusion, irony and humiliations of being a smart teen in an often ridiculous world.

Written by Thomas

2009-01-20 at 23:19

Ólafur Haukur Símonarson : Le cadavre dans la voiture rouge

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Le cadavre dans la voiture rouge
Ólafur Haukur Símonarson
Seuil, « Points. Roman noir »
ISBN 978-2-7578-1200-6
9 février 2009
14,95 $ au Canada


Divorcé, chômeur, Jonas accepte un poste d’instituteur dans un petit port perdu au nord de l’Islande. Il espère y mener une vie paisible, loin des hommes, mais la réalité s’avère un peu plus lugubre. Sourires hypocrites, intimidations, menaces, tentatives de meurtre… Dans le brouillard islandais, ce lieu supposé être un havre de paix ressemble furieusement à un traquenard !

Written by Thomas

2009-01-17 at 11:39

Halldór Laxness : Les annales de Brekkukot

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Les annales de Brekkukot
Halldór Laxness
Fayard, « Littérature étrangère »
ISBN 978-2-213-63260-5
19 février 2009
36,95 $ au Canada

In English: The Fish Can Sing


Au début du xxe siècle, le jeune Alfgrímur vit à Brekkukot, une ferme de tourbe située à la périphérie de Reykjavík, alors simple bourgade, chez le vieux couple qui l’a recueilli et qu’il considère comme ses grands-parents. Il y côtoie une bande délurée d’excentriques et de philosophes qui trouvent refuge dans le simple respect d’autrui, conformément à l’éthique des habitants de Brekkukot. L’enfance idyllique d’Alfgrímur et ses projets d’avenir, à savoir devenir pêcheur de lompe comme son grand-père, basculent lorsqu’il rencontre le chanteur lyrique islandais mondialement célèbre, le mystérieux Gardar Hólm, qui l’incite à atteindre « la note pure ». Mais comment peut-il y parvenir sans renoncer au monde qu’il aime ?

Dans ce roman curieux et merveilleux, où se mêlent histoires de voyageurs, mythes et légendes islandaises, le Prix Nobel de littérature dépeint avec humour et finesse l’univers restreint d’un jeune garçon confronté malgré lui au monde moderne.

Written by Thomas

2009-01-17 at 10:38

Kjell Ola Dahl : 96°

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Kjell Ola Dahl
Gallimard, « Série noire »
ISBN 978-2-07-042702-4
6 juillet 2005
25,50 $ au Canada

Titre original : Seksognitti


Quand Bendik Fleming sort de prison, il se promet de changer de vie : trouver un studio, un boulot stable, et s’occuper de sa fille, dont son ex ne veut pas qu’il s’approche. Pour son premier soir de liberté, il flâne dans les rues d’une petite ville de province, près d’Oslo, et se paye une bière au comptoir d’un pub. Il y fait la connaissance de Lillian et de son amant, Egil. Le temps d’un soir, il oublie toutes ses bonnes résolutions… Il faut dire qu’on est si bien avec Lillian…

Written by Thomas

2009-01-15 at 22:58

Kjell Ola Dahl: The Last Fix

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The Last Fix
Kjell Ola Dahl
Faber & Faber
ISBN 978-0-571-23294-9
28 July 2009
$10.99 in Canada

Original Title: En liten gyllen ring


Katrine Bratterud is on the verge of finishing a spell in drug rehab. One evening celebrating her success at the shore of a lake she senses that she is not alone. In the dim early morning light she sees a naked man approaching from out of the woods…The discovery of Katrine’s corpse the following day brings police officers Gunnarstranda and Frolich onto the case and into a world of secrets and lies that stretches back generations. Katrine’s past as a prostitute makes her easy prey to a series of men, who immediately become suspects – and victims. In a world of secrets can the Oslo Detectives find out the truth about these grisly murders in time before the killer strikes again…?

Written by Thomas

2009-01-15 at 22:22

Jan Kjærstad: The Discoverer

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Jonas Wergeland Trilogy 3: The Discoverer
Jan Kjærstad
Open Letter Books
ISBN 978-1-934824-12-2
August 2009 (USA)*

* Canadian price and availability (via Nebraska/Codasat/UTP) not known at this time.


The final novel in a trilogy of books about the Norwegian television celebrity Jonas Wergeland, The Discoverer finds Jonas released from prison, having completed his sentence for the death of his wife. He has taken a job as a secretary aboard the Voyager, a ship which is exploring the far reaches of the Sognefjord—the longest fjord in the world. On the ship, Jonas works for a team of young people—including his daughter, Kristin—who are engaged in a multimedia project that is seeking to chart every aspect of the fjord in a new medium that merges text, image, film, and design.

While the crew seeks to document the fjord, Jonas is busy exploring his past. For the first time in the trilogy he is allowed to tell his own story, and on board the ship he begins to recreate a manuscript that he wrote in prison, a book which he has already destroyed once, a book which seeks to explore the central mystery at the heart of Jonas’s existence: the life and death of his wife Margrete.

The Discoverer stands alone as a masterful novel in its own right—multivocal, throwing story after story aloft and examining each from numerous angles, and all at once. Incredibly, it also serves as the perfect complement to The Seducer and The Conqueror, both deepening the mysteries contained in those two novels and revealing the bottomlessness of so many others. Jan Kjaerstad once again draws us into the Wergeland universe, and he takes us on a journey that promises to finally discover the truth about Jonas’s life, and his wife’s death.

Written by Thomas

2009-01-14 at 00:25

Posted in 2009, à suivre, norsk

Tagged with ,

Jan Kjærstad: The Conqueror

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Jonas Wergeland Trilogy 2: The Conqueror
Jan Kjærstad
Open Letter Books
ISBN 978-1-934824-03-0
28 February 2009 (USA)*

* Canadian price and availability (via Nebraska/Codasat/UTP) not known at this time.


Jonas Wergeland is in prison for the murder of his wife. The most beloved and celebrated television personality in Norway, Wergeland’s programs on the history of Norway held the country in his thrall. The spectacle of his downfall has done the same.

A professor is hired to write the definitive biography of Wergeland, but finds himself unable to process the astonishing volume of contradictory information he unearths—until a mysterious woman appears on his doorstep. Possessing innumerable intimate stories about Jonas, the woman details the dark side of his rise to prominence, and through her stories tries to explain what made him a murderer.

Told in a series of short, interconnected, self-referential, and constantly evolving passages—each shooting off from the last like light from a prism and moving indifferently from the past to the present—Jan Kjaerstad has constructed a wonder of a novel whose form and subject explore what, in the apparent absence of simple cause and effect, makes life coherent.

Written by Thomas

2009-01-14 at 00:16

Jan Kjærstad: The Seducer

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Now available in paperback:

Jonas Wergeland Trilogy 1: The Seducer
Jan Kjærstad
Overlook Press
ISBN 978-1-58567-868-6
24 July 2007
$22.50 in Canada


Jonas Wergeland, a successful TV documentary producer with a touch of God’s gift to women, returns one evening from the World’s Fair in Seville to find his wife dead on the living room floor. What follows is a quest to find the killer, encompassing by turns a picaresque and endlessly inventive look at the conditions that have brought Wergeland to this critical juncture in life. From his hair’s breadth escape from a ravenous polar bear while filming in Greenland to a near-death experience aboard a passenger ferry in the icy Baltic, the Tom Jones-like experiences that comprise the narrative of Wergeland’s life, relayed in Kjaerstad’s veneered and acutely observant prose, provide a fascinating portrait of a media icon at the crux of his journey as an artist.

An international bestseller and winner of Scandinavia’s top literary award, the Nordic Prize, The Seducer is a suspenseful and endlessly provocative novel that continually thwarts readers expectations and rewards them with a uniquely enriching reading experience.

Written by Thomas

2009-01-14 at 00:15