Scandinavian Literature in Translation || Littérature scandinave en traduction

Posts Tagged ‘tiina nunnally

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

Morten Ramsland: Doghead

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Now available in trade paperback:

Morten Ramsland
Black Swan
ISBN 978-0-552-77343-0
13 May 2008
$21.95 in Canada

En français : Tête de chien


Naughty Boys.Dirty Secrets.Mad Dogs.

In the Eriksson family, childhood is a shocking experience, full of crude and disturbing rites of passage. It all started with Askild ‘the Crackpot’, chased by bloodhounds on a German plain after escaping from a Nazi concentration camp. His son, Niels ‘Jug Ears’ Junior, is born in an outhouse, and wins respect by kicking other boys in the balls.

And his son, Asger ‘the Liar’, collects stories about his shipwrecked family which are always exciting though not entirely true. He is haunted by the time he spent hidden in the space under the stairs with his fat aunt, aka ‘the Little Bitch’. Unable to banish Doghead, a horror from his childhood, to the shadow realm, he reveals the very bad deeds children can do – to push his family story forward, past a point of no return.

Doghead is a richly imaginative farcical tragedy; a witty saga of three generations of wild Eriksson men. It touches on chilling themes – concentration camps, child abuse, alcoholism, rape – yet warmly celebrates the stories that hold families together.

Written by Thomas

2008-12-27 at 19:20

Klas Östergren: Gentlemen

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Klas Östergren
ISBN 978-1-59692-206-8
29 May 2007
$33.00 in Canada

Original Title: Gentlemen
En français : Gentlemen


Beaten up, bruised, and scared, a young writer hides in a Stockholm apartment, writing the story of its disappeared inhabitants: the flamboyant and charismatic Morgan brothers.

It all began a year earlier, when he was rooming with Henry Morgan, a boxer, piano player, composer, bartender, and old-fashioned gentleman with a Gatsby-like capacity for turning life into a feast and absolutely no talent for keeping secrets.

The two friends led the high-life in Stockholm until the day Henry’s younger brother Leo – a star poet, drunk, political provocateur – showed up. Leo drags them into a scandal involving illegal weapons and gangsters, and soon the three men find themselves unwittingly and irreversibly trapped in a dangerous plot.

Written with an intense regard for storytelling and style, Gentlemen is the most important literary work to emerge from Sweden in the past thirty years – simultaneously celebrating and mourning the post-WWII era with its jazz music, poetry, hidden treasures, and espionage.

Written by Thomas

2008-12-27 at 12:01

Mari Jungstedt: The Inner Circle

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The Inner Circle
Mari Jungstedt
St. Martin’s Minotaur
ISBN 978-0-312-36378-9
25 November 2008
$28.95 in Canada


The Inner Circle opens with an international group of young archeology students sweating on a dig on the island of Gotland, uncovering a Viking fortification dating back over a millennium. They are a fun-loving lot, partying together every night, but the good vibe turns to horror when one of them, twenty-one-year-old Martina Flochten, disappears. Her body is found a short while later, naked, bled out, and hanging from a tree. Her injuries indicate that she is the victim of a ritual killing.

Inspector Anders Knutas investigates Martina’s acquaintances. Who was the mysterious lover she was supposed to have been meeting in secret and whom none of her fellow archaeologists have actually seen? What do the marks on Martina’s body signify? Is there possibly a connection between Martina’s death and the recent and unsolved brutal beheading of a Gotland pony? The pony was also bled out, and its head was missing—until it appears mounted on a stick outside the next victim’s house.

Inspector Knutas and his team work feverishly to catch the killer, but before long there are more victims, all of whom have been killed and mutilated the same way.

Mari Jungstedt integrates a healthy dose of Scandinavian mythology in this installment of her critically acclaimed series, and also addresses current issues on Gotland, while keeping up a fast-paced and intricate plot as Knutas closes in on the killer and the secret that connects the victims. This is Swedish crime fiction at its best: dark, atmospheric, and character-driven.

Written by Thomas

2008-12-26 at 21:48

Mari Jungstedt: Unspoken

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Mari Jungstedt
St. Martin’s Minotaur
ISBN 978-0-312-36377-2
4 September 2007
$26.95 in Canada

En français : Les ombres silencieuses


It is winter on Gotland, and fourteen-year-old Fanny is missing. She had no friends to speak of other than the horses she took care of at the local racing stable, and seems to have been an unhappy and isolated teenager, the daughter of an absent Jamaican musician and an instable Swedish mother. Is her disappearance somehow connected to the recent brutal murder of alcoholic photographer Henry Dahlström, who had won a large sum of money at the racetrack right before his death? Inspector Anders Knutas and his team investigate under pressure from the media.

Fanny is finally found, strangled to death and left on a lonely heath, covered by moss and branches. At the same time, grainy but explicit photographs of the girl with a stranger are discovered, hidden in Dahlström’s darkroom. Intrepid TV journalist Johan Berg, sent from Stockholm to cover the two deaths, pushes the investigation one decisive step ahead while still trying to resolve his relationship with Emma, which has been simmering since they first met during the investigation into a series of murders on Gotland this past summer.

All evidence points to one of Fanny’s coworkers at the stable, an American who has left the country for a short vacation. As Knutas and his team wait for his return to make the arrest, the inspector takes a well-deserved weekend off with an old friend, and at the lonely cottage in the woods, the pieces finally fit together. But this time, Knutas has gotten too close. . . .

Written by Thomas

2008-12-26 at 21:33