Authors and Translators

Nordic Noir: UCL Scandinavian Crime Book Club Event

14 June 2011, 6-8pm  at the Horse Hospital (Colonnade, London WC1N 1JD).

Please register here:, the cost is £5.

 Nordic Crime Readers’ Choice


Crime-fiction expert Barry Forshaw


Translator Victoria Cribb

Join us for a chilling evening of ventures into the darkest corners of the best Nordic-crime novels, their authors and translators. Nordic crime novels will be on sale, and there will be a glass of wine served in the atmospheric setting of Bloomsbury’s Horse Hospital.

Crime fiction expert Barry Forshaw has talked to or interviewed virtually every writer in the Nordic Noir field, for various newspapers, magazines, TV and radio, as well as for his forthcoming books on Scandinavian Crime Fiction (due January 2012). He has a fund of insights (and anecdotes) about the authors and their work, and is equally au fait with the work of the publishers and translators who are helping to make the field the hottest in the entire crime fiction genre. If you’re an aficionado of Nordic Noir, you have something to learn from Barry!

Victoria Cribb works as a freelance translator and translator of the best-selling and award-winning Icelandic crime writer Arnaldur Indriðason. She co-translated Arctic Chill with Bernard Scudder, and also translated Hypothermia and Operation Napoleon and am currently working on the next, Black Skies (provisional title), Arnaldur’s response to the Icelandic banking crisis. She has an MA in Icelandic and Scandinavian Studies from UCL, a BPhil in Icelandic from the University of Iceland, and lived and worked in Iceland for a number of years as a publisher, journalist and translator. She is currently working on her PhD in Old Icelandic literature at Cambridge.

Victoria will talk about the insights and challenges of translating crime fiction, and will give examples of what may happen when Nordic crime fiction invades the English language.

Barry’s talk will be a preview of his forthcoming book:


by Barry Forshaw

 Palgrave Macmillan, January 2012

The most popular genre in crime fiction examined both as a bestselling literary form and an index to the society it reflects, from Sjöwahl and Wahlöö’s highly influential Martin Beck series through Henning Mankell’s concerns for the Third World to Stieg Larsson’s ruthless demolition of the image of the Swedish Social Democratic ideal in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (creating for outsiders a new, astringent vision of modern Sweden); Nordic cultural differences from Iceland to Norway are discussed as seen through such writers as Karin Fossum and Jo Nesbø, who has said ‘the writer of fiction has traditionally been regarded as an opinion-former in questions of politics, ethics and society’.)

 Barry Forshaw (whose books include The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction and British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia) wrote the first biography of Stieg Larsson and has covered and interviewed Nordic writers for various newspapers and magazines, as well as appearing in BBC TV and ITV documentaries on the subject. He has created the definitive book on crime fiction — both on the page and on the large and small screen — from Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries. All the key authors and their work are examined in the context of social changes in their respective countries, notably the radical revision (via the novels) of British and American notions of Nordic society.


4 responses to “Authors and Translators

  1. Joy Woodcock

    Thank you, I am new to your site and have not been following the ITV’s series. Is it online or on tv? I ask because I live in the US and do not get all of the bbc stations that you get in Europe.

    • jakobstougaard

      @ Joy: this is on the British TV channel ITV, and can be watched ITV Iplayer as well – but this may not help you if you are in the US. You can only hope it will be picked up by a PBS station over there. My guess is, however, that it is way too British for an American audience.

  2. Joy woodcock

    Will Barry Forshaw’s book be released in English? If so when?

    • jakobstougaard

      Yes, it is originally in English, and will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in February. I have been given a pre-view of his work, and there is much to look forward to for Nordic Crime fiction fans. I hope you are already following Barry and others on the ITV’s series, The A to Z of Crime.

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