Scandinavian Literature in Translation || Littérature scandinave en traduction

Archive for the ‘2009/07’ Category

Kerstin Ekman: God’s Mercy

leave a comment »

Wolfskin Trilogy 1: God’s Mercy
Kerstin Ekman
Bison Books
ISBN 978-0-8032-2458-2
July 2009 (USA)*

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


When Hillevi, a young, inexperienced midwife, moves from the university town of Uppsala to the wilderness of Svartvattnet (Blackwater) to be with her unofficial fiancé, she is ill prepared for what awaits her. In this frigid, austere, and isolated territory, she encounters the overwhelming and unpredictable forces of nature and demoralizing poverty and ignorance while also gaining access to the unfamiliar world of nomadic Sami reindeer herders. A single traumatic event, never fully confronted, has devastating and far-reaching repercussions, but Hillevi also finds unexpected warmth and love.

Incorporating elements of the jojk oral tradition of Sami culture, God’s Mercy is a thoroughly engrossing story about the capriciousness of memory, the resilience of the human psyche, and the endless wonder of the wild.

God’s Mercy is the first novel in the “Wolfskin” trilogy, which includes The Last String and Scratchcards.

Written by Thomas

2009-02-15 at 17:47

Kjell Ola Dahl: The Last Fix

leave a comment »

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

Katarina Mazetti: Benny and Shrimp

with one comment

Benny and Shrimp
Katarina Mazetti
Short Books
ISBN 978-1-906021-36-8
5 February 2009
$15.00 in Canada

ISBN 978-0-14-311599-1
29 July 2009
$17.50 in Canada

N.B. – The above information is predicated on the hypothesis that this UK edition will indeed be imported into the Canadian market. Penguin USA have their own American edition planned for July 2009 (ISBN 978-0-14-311599-1), and as Penguin Canada distribute both Short Books and Penguin USA, it is not clear whether it will be the British or American edition that will ultimately make it to Canada.

Short Books hold UK+Commonwealth rights on this title, but when it suits them publishers and distributors will often forget that Canada is part of the Commonwealth. Since the previous edition from Short Books (ISBN 978-1-904977-41-4) didn’t make it over to Canada, it’s hard to be overly optimistic on this one, but one simply never knows.

Update 2009-01-20: Penguuin Canada sent us the Summer 2009 catalogues late last week, and in the Penguin USA Summer 2009 catalogue (pages 74-75), the American edition of Benny and Shrimp mentioned above (complete with an absolutely horrid cover design, as usual) is listed as ‘NCR’ which, in bookseller lingo, means not for sale in Canada. So I’m thinking hooray!, the British edition will be available over here after all. But then today I was informed by Short Books that, even though they claim on their website to hold the Commonwealth rights for this title, they don’t consider Canada to be part of the Commonwealth (news to me!), so they won’t be making their edition available in Canada either. If this is how they’re going to treat us (whether it’s ignorance or contempt, it’s not very pleasant), I don’t know why we should keep Liz as our head of state. I’ve got a message into Penguin Canada asking for an explanation but, as things stand right now, this book will not be available in Canada. Have to read it in French I suppose.

Update 2009-01-23: This week it has been confirmed by both Short Books and Penguin Canada that it will indeed by the American edition that will be imported into Canada, and that the ‘NCR’ status in the Penguin USA catalogue is an error. Not only will we have to wait several months for Penguin USA to get around to releasing it over here but, when they finally do, our patience will be rewarded with an impossibly unattractive made in the USA cover design. A veritable kick in the teeth, it has to be said…

En français : Le mec de la tombe d’à côté


Why is it so impossible to get a relationship to work between two mature single people, driven by an enormous longing and loudly ticking biological clocks? Especially when they are struck by a totally unexpected passion when they first meet…

In alternate chapters, Benny and “Shrimp” tell the story of a love that started by mistake in a village cemetery, a love that should not really be as complicated as it seems. She is a childless young widow with a sharp intellect and a home so tidy that even her jam jars are in alphabetical order. He is a gentle, overworked milk farmer, a reluctant loner, who fears becoming the village’s Old Bachelor. The attraction between them is powerful. But how will she learn to accept that he falls asleep at the opera and has a house full of his mother’s embroidered wall hangings, and how could he ever feel at home in her minimalist apartment, bare as a dentist’s waiting room?

In Benny & Shrimp, Katarina Mazetti brilliantly captures the intensity of an unexpected love affair, and the heartbreaking inevitability with which life tends to get in the way.


An international sensation, this addictively readable tale asks the question: Why is it so impossible to get a relationship between two middle-aged misfits to work? The answer lies in the story of Shrimp, a young widowed librarian with a sharp intellect and a home so tidy that her jam jars are in alphabetical order; Benny, a gentle, overworked milk farmer who fears becoming the village’s Old Bachelor; and an unlikely love that should not be as complicated as it seems. Reminiscent of the works of Carol Shields, this quirky, humorous, beautifully told novel breathes new life into the age-old conundrum that is love.

Written by Thomas

2008-12-28 at 15:29

Stieg Larsson: The Girl Who Played With Fire

with 3 comments

Millennium 2: The Girl Who Played With Fire
Stieg Larsson
ISBN 978-0-670-06902-6
28 July 2009
$32.00 in Canada

There is no Canadian market information at this time, but I would expect the second volume to once again be published by Viking Canada (Penguin Group), to come out around July-September 2009, and to sell for $30.00-$35.00. More information will be added as it becomes available.

If you’re too impatient to wait for the North American release of the second volume, you can either try to import the British edition coming out in early January 2009, or live the Canadian dream by reading the French edition (which came out in Canada fully two years ago).

See also: excerpt and audio preview [mp3].

En français : La fille qui rêvait d’un bidon d’essence et d’une allumette


From the Canadian edition:

The fierce heart of this novel is Lisbeth Salander: the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who teamed up with crusading journalist Mikael Blomqvist in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

This time, Lisbeth is implicated in a murder: her fingerprints are found on the weapon used to kill two journalists the night before their explosive story about sex trafficking in Sweden was set to be published. Now, while Blomqvist— alone in his belief in her innocence — plunges into his own investigation of the slayings, Lisbeth is drawn into a hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revist her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

From the British edition:

Lisbeth Salander is a wanted woman. Two Millennium journalists about to expose the truth about the sex trade in Sweden are brutally murdered, and Salander’s prints are on the weapon. Her history of unpredictable and vengeful behaviour makes her an official danger to society – but no-one can find her anywhere.

Meanwhile, Mikael Blomkvist, editor-in-chief of Millennium, will not believe what he hears on the news. Knowing Salander to be fierce when fearful, he is desperate to get to her before she is cornered and alone. As he fits the pieces of the puzzle together, he comes up against some hardened criminals, including the chainsaw-wielding ‘blond giant’ – a fearsomely huge thug who can feel no pain. Digging deeper, Blomkvist also unearths some heart-wrenching facts about Salander’s past life. Committed to psychiatric care aged 12, declared legally incompetent at 18, this is a messed-up young woman who is the product of an unjust and corrupt system. Yet Lisbeth is more avenging angel than helpless victim – descending on those that have hurt her with a righteous anger terrifying in its intensity and truly wonderful in its outcome.

The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second volume in the explosive Millennium Trilogy, which has sold more than 7.5 million copies worldwide.

From the American edition:

The electrifying follow-up to the phenomenal best seller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and this time it is Lisbeth Salander, the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker, who is the focus and fierce heart of the story.

Mikael Blomkvist—crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium—has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered. But perhaps more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander.

Now, as Blomkvist—alone in his belief in her innocence—plunges into his own investigation of the slayings, Salander is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

Written by Thomas

2008-12-28 at 01:41