Scandinavian Literature in Translation || Littérature scandinave en traduction

Archive for the ‘english translation’ Category

Frans Gunnar Bengtsson: The Long Ships

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The Long Ships
Frans Gunnar Bengtsson
New York Review of Books
ISBN 978-1-59017-346-6
Canadian publication May 2010

Translated from the Swedish by Michael Meyer

En français : Orm le rouge
volume 1 : Sur les mers de la route de l’Ouest
volume 2 : Au pays et sur la route de l’Est

Frans Gunnar Bengtsson’s The Long Ships resurrects the fantastic world of the tenth century ad when the Vikings roamed and rampaged from the northern fastnesses of Scandinavia through the Straits of Gibraltar to Byzantium in all its fabled splendor. Bengtsson’s hero, Red Orm, is a boy when he is abducted from his Swedish home by the Vikings and made to take his place at the oars of the dragon-prowed ships. He then has the misfortune to be captured by the Moors in Spain, where he is initiated into the pleasures of the senses. Escaping from captivity, Orm goes to Ireland, plays an ever more important part in the intrigues of the various Scandinavian kings and clans and dependencies, helps defeat the army of the king of England, and returns home an off-the-cuff Christian convert and a very rich man. Packed with pitched battles and blood feuds, founded in history and told with high good humor, Bengtsson’s book is a fantastic adventure that features one of the most unexpectedly winning heroes in modern fiction.

Written by Thomas

2010-02-07 at 16:44

Mikkel Birkegaard: The Library of Shadows

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The Library of Shadows
Mikkel Birkegaard
Black Swan
ISBN 978-0-552-77502-1
Canadian publication September 2010*

* This ISBN was originally published in Great Britain in June 2009, but for bizarre reasons known only to themselves, Random House of Canada have decided to wait 15 months before releasing it over here.

Translated from the Danish by Tiina Nunnally

En français : La librairie des ombres

Imagine that some people have the power to affect your thoughts and feelings through books. They can seduce you with amazing stories, conjure up vividly imagined worlds, but also manipulate you into thinking exactly what they want you to.

When Luca Campelli dies a sudden and violent death, his son Jon inherits his second-hand bookshop, Libri di Luca, in Copenhagen. Jon has not seen his father for twenty years since the mysterious death of his mother. When Luca’s death is followed by an arson attempt on the shop, Jon is forced to explore his family’s past.

Unbeknown to Jon, the bookshop has for years been hiding a remarkable secret. It is the meeting place of a society of booklovers and readers, who have maintained a tradition of immense power passed down from the days of the great library of ancient Alexandria. Now someone is trying to destroy them, and Jon finds he is in a fight to save his new friends.

Written by Thomas

2010-02-07 at 12:53

Karin Alvtegen: Shame

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Now available in mass-market paperback:

Karin Alvtegen
Penguin Canada
ISBN 978-0-14-305353-8
29 December 2009
Translated from the Swedish by Steven T. Murray

See also: trade paperback edition
En français : Honteuse

Two women are trapped by a past that won’t let go. At first sight, Monika and Maj-Britt are as different as two people can be. They have nothing in common but the determination to obliterate their memories. But then a tragic car accident briefly brings them face to face and forces them to confront the emotional voids and secret sadnesses they have been trying to bury. A suspenseful, psychological thriller, Shame reveals the ordinary days of the odd and lonely as they twist into self-destruction—and holds out a glimmering hope of redemption and acceptance.

Written by Thomas

2010-01-11 at 14:51

Tove Jansson: The True Deceiver

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The True Deceiver
Tove Jansson
New York Review of Books
ISBN 978-1-59017-329-9
8 December 2009
$18.95 in Canada

Deception—the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell others—is the subject of this, Tove Jansson’s most unnerving and unpredictable novel. Here Jansson takes a darker look at the subjects that animate the best of her work, from her sensitive tale of island life, The Summer Book, to her famous Moomin stories: solitude and community, art and life, love and hate.

Snow has been falling on the village all winter long. It covers windows and piles up in front of doors. The sun rises late and sets early, and even during the day there is little to do but trade tales. This year everybody’s talking about Katri Kling and Anna Aemelin. Katri is a yellow-eyed outcast who lives with her simpleminded brother and a dog she refuses to name. She has no use for the white lies that smooth social intercourse, and she can see straight to the core of any problem. Anna, an elderly children’s book illustrator, appears to be Katri’s opposite: a respected member of the village, if an aloof one. Anna lives in a large empty house, venturing out in the spring to paint exquisitely detailed forest scenes. But Anna has something Katri wants, and to get it Katri will take control of Anna’s life and livelihood. By the time spring arrives, the two women are caught in a conflict of ideals that threatens to strip them of their most cherished illusions.

See also: Tove Jansson Moomin reissues, published right here in Montreal by Drawn & Quarterly.

Written by Thomas

2009-12-18 at 23:03

Anders Roslund & Börge Hellström: Box 21

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Box 21
Anders Roslund & Börge Hellström
Farrar, Straus & Giroux (Sarah Crichton Books)
ISBN 978-0-374-28295-0
October 2009
$32.50 in Canada
{Uncredited translation from the Swedish}

Also published in the United Kingdom as The Vault (2008)

The International Thriller that Stockholm City hailed as the Best Crime Novel of the Year has finally crossed the Atlantic!

Three years ago, Lydia and Alena were two hopeful girls from Lithuania. Now they are sex slaves, lured to Sweden with the promise of better jobs and then trapped in a Stockholm brothel, forced to repay their “debt.” Suddenly they are given an unexpected chance at freedom, and with it the opportunity to take revenge on their enslavers and reclaim the lives and dignity they once had. What will happen now that the tables are turned and the victims fight back?

In this masterful thriller, the celebrated team of Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström delve into the seedy underbelly of Stockholm. There we meet Lydia and Alena as they embark on a desperate plan to expose their captor and demand justice; police officers Sundkvist and Grens, on the trail of both Lydia’s enslavers and Jochum Lang, a notorious mob enforcer; and Hilding Oldéus, a junkie on what might be his last—and most destructive—bender. At the Söder Hospital, their destinies begin to converge in unexpected and explosive ways.

Box 21 is a Scandinavian thriller of the highest order: a mindblowing psychological drama written with powerful intensity. When it was published in Sweden, Solo called it “suspenseful, gripping, and intelligently written . . . Almost impossible to put down,” while SVT exclaimed: “Forget crime literature; this is, simply put, great literature!”

Written by Thomas

2009-12-18 at 22:31

Göran Sonnevi: Mozart’s Third Brain

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Mozart’s Third Brain
Göran Sonnevi
Yale University Press
ISBN 978-0-300-14580-9
14 Spetember 2009
USD 25.00

Winner of the 2006 Nordic Council’s Literature Prize, Swedish writer Göran Sonnevi is undoubtedly one of the most important poets working today. In Mozart’s Third Brain, his thirteenth book of verse, he attempts “a commentary on everything” – politics, current events, mathematics, love, ethics, music, philosophy, nature. Through the impeccable skill of award-winning translator Rika Lesser, Sonnevi’s long-form poem comes to life in English with the full force of its loose, fractured, and radiating intensity.

A poetic tour de force that darts about dynamically and imaginatively, Mozart’s Third Brain weaves an elaborate web of associations as the poet tries to integrate his private consciousness with the world around him. Through Lesser’s translation and preface, and an enlightening foreword by Rosanna Warren, readers of English will finally gain access to this masterpiece.

Born in 1939 in Lund, Sweden, Göran Sonnevi is the author of fifteen books of poems and a volume of poetry in translation.

Written by Thomas

2009-12-18 at 22:17

Linn Ullmann: A Blessed Child (paperback)

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Now in paperback:

A Blessed Child
Linn Ullmann
ISBN 978-0-307-27781-7
11 August 2009
$19.95 in Canada

See also: hardback edition

A Blessed Child is a haunting parable of innocence lost from the internationally acclaimed author of Grace and Stella Descending.

Every summer Isak Lövenstad gathers his three daughters by different wives to the windswept Baltic island of Hammarsö. Here Erika, Laura, and Molly find a sense of family and friendship, although nothing can match Erika’s connection to the rebellious misfit Ragnar. But when an act of senseless cruelty separates them forever—and drives the sisters from the island in shame and regret—they must leave childhood and their growing relationships behind. Now, twenty-five years later, they return to visit their ailing father and confront the specter of that awful summer.

Written by Thomas

2009-12-18 at 22:09