Tag Archives: events

Danish Book Launch: Murder in the Dark and Conversation with the Translator – video

In partnership with Norvik Press, the Nordic Noir book club held a reception at University College London on 4th November 2013 to celebrate the publication of Dan Turèll’s Murder in the Dark. The book’s translator Mark Mussari took part in an interactive Q&A during the event, live via video link from the USA. You can watch the full video below (27 minutes).

The video Q&A was hosted by UCL’s new PhD student in Danish-English Translation Studies, Ellen Kythor, and the launch was made possible with support from the university’s School of European Languages, Culture and Society.

You can purchase Murder in the Dark now via the Norvik Press website.


Filed under Danish crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction

Danish Book Launch: Murder in the Dark and Conversation with the Translator

In partnership with Norvik Press, the next Nordic Noir book club event will be a reception to celebrate the publication of Dan Turèll’s Murder in the Dark, translated by Mark Mussari. turellcover

Murder in the Dark is the first in Danish author Turèll’s ‘Murder’ series. The scruffy, unconventional anti-hero narrator is a journalist with a warm wit, who drinks to excess, is desperate to be loved, yet revels in being an outsider – the author strongly denied he was based on himself, though the parallels are striking! The series takes place in Vesterbro, Copenhagen, depicted as a grotty crime-ridden underworld full of brothels, dodgy bars, and drug dens. The book opens with a mysterious 3.30am phone call from a strange voice telling the narrator to come – now – to an address on Saxogade. When he wakes again at a more reasonable hour, the narrator contacts the police:

I had to say my name twice – and give them my social security number once – before they took me seriously.

And that they certainly did. In authoritative tone, the voice in Cafe Freden’s payphone asked me to appear at Police Inspector Ehlers’ office in Halmtorvet as soon as possible.

I told them I would be there in fifteen minutes.

I spent twelve of those minutes on two bitters and two cups of even more scalding hot coffee. I spent the final three minutes walking the twenty meters to the police station at Halmtorvet, as slowly as possible. I’ve always hated spending my free time in police stations.

Translator Mark Mussari will be taking part in an interactive Q&A via video link for the event, so we would like to get some questions from book club members about his experience translating this classic crime novel. You can suggest questions in a number of ways: post a comment here, tweet @nordicnoir, or comment on our Facebook page.

The launch takes place on Monday 4th November 2013 at University College London. The event is free, but please RSVP by 5pm on Wednesday 30th October to Ellen Kythor at norvikevents@gmail.com.

If you can’t make it, the translator’s Q&A will be available on YouTube soon after – watch this space for details!

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Filed under Danish crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction

Nordic Noir news and events

January 2013 Newsletter

It has been a while since we had a proper Book Club meeting and a chance to share our common interest in Nordic crime fiction. However, one certainly doesn’t have the feeling of being alone with one’s passion these days.

On Twitter and on Facebook we take part in the constant flow of comments and discussions about the latest in Nordic crime – recently we have followed The Killing III and are thrilled by the second season of Borgen. Are you watching? Do you know everything about Danish coalition governments and the struggle to balance family life and the job as a Prime Minister by now?

The Nordic Noir Team worked together with The Guardian to provide extra material for the weekly ritual of watching The Killing. Our Danish teacher Jesper Hansen gave ‘A crash course in Danish for fans of The Killing’ and we tried our best to give informed answers to questions raised by The Guardian’s readers: Do Danes love jumpers? Does it rain a lot in Denmark? Was Denmark hit hard by the credit crunch? We are currently working with The Guardian on material to accompany the second season of Borgen.

Last time we met for a Book Club event was in May last year. We gathered for a night of Norwegian Noir with the legendary Gunnar Staalesen, the rising star Thomas Enger and crime expert Hans Skei. To follow up on the success of this event we are planning to have a second Nordic Noir Reading Group to share our experiences of reading Staalesen and Enger. It will obviously be an occasion to meet fellow crime readers to talk about the latest and very best of Nordic Noir on the page and on the screen. We hope to see you then.


7. March, 1.15-1.55pm

‘Scandinavian crime fiction and the end of the welfare state’

Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen will give a free public Lunch Hour Lecture at UCL (Gower Street, London). Join us at UCL or follow the lecture steam online. Visit UCL Lunch Hour Lectures for more information.

20. March, 6-7.30pm

Nordic Noir Reading Group: Staalesen and Enger

Join us at UCL for Nordic Noir and wine. Share your experiences of reading Gunnar Staalesen (Cold Hearts, Arcadia Books, 2012) and Thomas Enger (Pierced, Faber, 2012). As usual there will be time to share thoughts on the best current Nordic Noir. More information will be posted on our website, blog , Twitter and Facebook sites.

17. May (All day)

Søren Kierkegaard – Copenhagen Noir

Join us at UCL where we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard by a look behind the scenes of his Golden-Age Copenhagen to reveal its darker, existential sides – how has Copenhagen Noir returned with TV series such as The Killing and Borgen? More information to follow.


Norvik Press has published Benny Andersen’s The Contract Killer with an introduction by Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen and Elettra Carbone and a brilliant essay by the translator (Nordic Noir and UCL Alumni) Paul Russell Garrett. Norvik is also about to publish a classic Copenhagen Noir novel by Dan Turèll, Murder in the Dark, in a translation by Mark Mussari.

Other recent publications in Nordic Noir include Åsa Larsson’s The Black Path (Transl. by Marlaine Delargy, MacLehose Press/Quercus, 2012); Jo Nesbø’s, Phantom (Transl. by Don Bartlett, Vintage, paperback Jan. 2013); Håkan Nesser, Hour of the Wolf (Transl. by Laurie Thompson, Pan, 2012); Helen Tursten’s Detective Inspector Huss (Transl. by Stephen Murray, Soho Press, 2012); Jan Wallentin’s Strindberg’s Star (Transl. by Rachel Willon-Broyles, Corvus, 2012); and Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Disgrace (Transl. by K.E. Semmel, Penguin, 2012).

Visit the British Library exhibition, “Murder in the Library: An A-Z of Crime Fiction” from 18 January to 12 May. There are also some really excellent exhibition events to attend.



Filed under Scandinavian crime fiction

Literature, justice and forgiveness

Nordic Noir discussions have often touched on the role of Scandinavian crime literature in dissecting concepts such as justice, catharsis, forgiveness, and other crucial issues for humanity. These lectures will not focus on crime fiction, but may be of interest for their focus on the power of literature to shape and reflect collective norms. All welcome – no need to book – please join us!

The venue for all four lectures is the Ramsey Lecture Theatre, Christopher Ingold Chemistry Building, 20 Gordon Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0AJ.

Four lectures by Leverhulme Visiting Professor Svend Erik Larsen

Leverhulme Lecture I: Wednesday 16 January, 6pm, G21 Christopher Ingold Building

Forgiveness after Religion: Radical Wrong-Doing & Cultural Norms

The idea of radical wrongdoing changed when Christianity lost its grip on cultural norms, and forgiveness acquired a new role in literature and culture. Followed by a wine reception hosted by the School of European Languages, Culture and Society.

Leverhulme Lecture II: Wednesday 6 February, 6pm, G21 Christopher Ingold Building

Don Juan, Lear & Figaro: Reinventing Forgiveness

Tragedy and comedy feed on the transgression of norms and its consequences for human life. When they change, new visions of humanity emerge together with new role of forgiveness.

Leverhulme Lecture III: Wednesday 13 March, 6pm, G21 Christopher Ingold Building

Where Forgiveness does not Exist

Cultures before or outside Christianity take issue with radical wrongdoing in other ways than the Western tradition, questioning the universal status of forgiveness.

Leverhulme Lecture IV: Wednesday 24 April, 6pm, G21 Christopher Ingold Building

The Limits of Forgiveness: Writing Reconciliation in South Africa

Many South African writers have discussed the limits of the bold attempt to use forgiveness as an instrument to national reconciliation.

Professor Svend Erik Larsen (Aarhus Universitet, Denmark) has been awarded a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship to spend January-June 2013 based at UCL Scandinavian Studies. He will be delivering four Leverhulme Lectures, leading Masterclasses for postgraduate students, and helping launch a new collaboration between UCL Scandinavian Studies, Dutch and SSEES: Learning from Small Nations. For more information, please contact Dr Claire Thomson (claire.thomson@ucl.ac.uk).

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Filed under Nordic classics, Recommendations, Related events

Borgen Briefing

Saturday 18 February 2012, 2-4pm. Mercer Room, Covent Garden Community Centre, London WC2H 9LA

Featuring Annette K. Olesen, Director of Borgen episodes 9 and 10.

When the Danish drama Borgen hit British television screens last month, we asked our Twitter followers what kind of cultural background information would help them make sense of this political drama. They told us they wanted to know about Danish language, the Danish television industry, Danish coalition politics, and Danish pastries. So our Borgen Briefing will include short, fun presentations by UCL experts on Danish language, culture and politics, and a Q&A with our very special guest from Denmark Annette K. Olesen, who directed episodes 9 and 10. We couldn’t find an expert on the cultural history of Danish pastries, so we decided we’d just serve up lots of coffee and wienerbrød on the day. Space is limited: book your ticket here!

Directions to the venue (updated 17 February 2012)

This is a note to help guide you to the venue. The street address is 42 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LA (the postcode 6LA has been circulating – we think this might be their admin office). Official guidance from Seven Dials and a map can be found here: http://www.sevendialsclub.com/contact/location-2/

It’s a very nice venue but a little bit tucked away, and it doesn’t always seem to come up very accurately on google maps. Here are instructions from the two most likely approach directions:

If you’re standing at the Seven Dials roundabout / monument with the Cambridge Theatre on your right and the Crown pub opposite you, turn right along Earlham Street. About half way down the street, on your left hand side, you should see the red signs for the Donmar Theatre. Seven Dials Club / Covent Garden Community Centre (our venue) is number 42, on the right hand side of the street, before you reach the Donmar. It has a black brick frontage and glass entrance doors.

If you get off at Covent Garden tube, walk towards Marks and Spencer on the other side of Long Acre. Just to your right is Neal Street. Walk up Neal Street, past Shelton Street on the left, and take the next left turn into Earlham Street (Urban Outfitters is on the corner). Walk towards the red signs of the Donmar Theatre. Seven Dials Club is just after and opposite the Donmar, at number 42 Earlham Street, on your left, with a black brick frontage and glass entrance doors.

We’ll have scouts with signs out on Earlham street looking for lost-looking Borgen fans…


Filed under Television drama, tv crime

Nordic Noir Book Club – Norwegian crime?

Today we have received the good news that Norwegian crime writer Anne Holt will be our next guest in the Nordic Noir Book Club. Early warning is for October 12, so reserve the day for a chilling storm from the mountains of Norway. More will follow as the organisation falls into place. Let us know what you think about Holt’s novels.


Filed under book club, Norwegian crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction