Tag Archives: Scandinavia

“Probably the best Scandinavian crime writing event” in London on 22. May.

scancrimefiction-frontpageThere are still tickets – and only one week to go! – for this exciting event featuring spine-tingling, entertaining and thought-provoking new crime novels from Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Join in to celebrate the launch of Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen’s study Scandinavian Crime Fiction, and meet the authors Jørn Lier Horst, Lone Theils and Stefan Ahnhem. Famous and bestselling writers in their homelands and across Scandinavia, they will introduce English readers to new and “old” kinds of Nordic detectives and share stories about their recent contributions to the continued renewal of Nordic Noir.

Join us on Monday 22. May (2017) at 7pm (doors open at 6pm) at JuJu’s Bar and Stage (15 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR).

Tickets sell for £5 at Eventbritehttps://goo.gl/adHwiA

The featured authors’ books will be available for purchase and signing at the event. There will also be the opportunity to view and buy new Scandinavian literature from the Norvik Press stall.

For more information visit the event page at https://goo.gl/mX2qLZ

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Nordic crime readers’ choice: what’s your favourite? (14 June)

The Nordic Noir Book Club is delighted to announce the next event in the series, which will take place on 14 June, 6pm – 8pm, at the Horse Hospital (Colonnade, London WC1N 1JD). Please register here: http://tinyurl.com/6g7wdn5, the cost is £5.

This event hopes to offer inspiration for your favourite Nordic crime novels to read over the summer.  Nordic Noir members, bloggers and new readers are all welcome to join us for some wine and snacks during an evening of sharing, discussion, crime quizzes, and much more. Please bring along your favourite Nordic crime novel, and think about how you want to persuade others to read it! We look forward to seeing you on 14 June! Send inquiries to nordic-noir@ucl.ac.uk.

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Filed under book club, Danish crime fiction, Icelandic crime fiction, Norwegian crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction, Swedish crime fiction

The Culture Café Radio Show on The Killing

Tuesday, March 15, 1.15 – 2.00 pm, there will be a short talk about The Killing and Scandinavian crime fiction on BBC Radio Scotland’s show, The Culture Café. I will talk with host Clare English and TV critic Jane Graham about the recent success of the Danish TV crime series, and I may just give away how you knit the perfect Sarah Lund jumper (en islandsk sweater, as we call it in Danish). Here’s the blurb from the programme site:

The actors wear chunky-knit jumpers, it’s filmed largely in the dark and rain and it has a less than inviting title. But BBC4’s The Killing, a subtitled Danish thriller that slowly unfolds over 20 hours as police hunt for the murderer of a 19-year-old girl, has proved a perhaps unlikely hit. The show has been getting higher viewing figures than Mad Men did when it was shown on the channel and the BBC has confirmed that it has bought the second series. The show, which has been a hit across Europe, underscores the growing popularity of Scandinavian TV crime, following as it does the Swedish Wallander series. To explore the attraction of Nordic Noir Clare’s joined by Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen, lecturer in Scandinavian literature at University College London and TV critic, Jane Graham.

We are most likely going to talk about how it can be that a subtitled Danish crime thriller has become such a hit in the UK and beyond, and not only with the hardened Nordic Noir crime fans. As some of you may have seen, I was quoted in The Guardian a few weeks ago for my surprise reaction to its popularity. My point is, it is not usual for British TV viewers to spend 20 hours in the company of a language that sounds like somebody speaking while “eating a hot potato” (as a student of mine said once), and having to be constantly distracted to read the subtitles at the bottom of the screen. Not that I have low opinions about the multi-tasking skills of British TV viewers, but it is something that you have to get used to.  That British viewers don’t mind, I think, is unusual, especially compared to Scandinavian TV, where viewers more often than not view programmes that are subtitled from one language or another.

And then there is the question of the story. Again, isn’t it surprising that people get hooked on a series with multiple plot lines, where the crime elements are constantly over shadowed by the story of the grieving family, Lund’s inability to make a relationships work, or even her inability to be a good mother, a good daughter, etc. And we don’t really know why she is like that. I also can’t be the only one wondering about the portrayal of Lund. She is not the first female crime investigator in Scandinavian crime or even crime made for TV, but she is fundamentally different. She is gendered differently, and so is her partner investigator. She is no feminist, she is herself: maybe she has become a traditionally male gendered crime investigator to make it in that world: she shows no real empathy with anyone, she is all work at a great cost to her family life, etc.

This is what Danish media critic Karen Klitgaard Povlsen writes about The Killing in a chapter in Andrew Nestingen and Paula Arvas’ recent book, Scandinavian Crime Fiction (an excllent study of all things Nordic Noir – can’t recommend it enough! I will write a review as soon as I get to the end):

Sarah Lund is a clever police officer, but a bad mother and lover. She has no empathy, and is incapable of bonding or identifying with other women. Indeed, she might be described as a stereotypical and conventional male detective in a feminine disguise … This series depicts the investigator’s career in dystopian terms, at the same time as it depicts Danish politics as another dystopia. (Karen Klitgaard Povlsen)

Is this partly what makes her character so appealing – so enigmatic; does it matter? And what does this say about Women in the Danish welfare state?

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Filed under Danish crime fiction, tv crime

Nordic Noir: The Story of Scandinavian Crime Fiction (BBC documentary)

Monday, 20 December @ 9pm on BBC4:

Nordic Noir on BBC4

From the BBC: “Draw the curtains and dim the lights for a chilling trip north for a documentary which investigates the success of Scandinavian crime fiction and why it exerts such a powerful hold on our imagination. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a literary blockbuster that has introduced millions of readers to the phenomenon that is Scandinavian crime fiction – yet author Stieg Larsson spent his life in the shadows and didn’t live to see any of his books published. It is one of the many mysteries the programme investigates as it travels to Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland in search of the genre’s most acclaimed writers and memorable characters. It also looks at Henning Mankell’s brooding Wallander series, with actor Krister Henriksson describing the challenge of bringing the character to the screen, and it asks why so many stories have a political subtext. The programme finds out how Stieg Larsson based the bestselling Millennium trilogy on his work as an investigative journalist and reveals the unlikely source of inspiration for his most striking character, Lisbeth Salander. There are also segments on Jo Nesbo, the Norwegian rock star-turned-writer tipped to inherit Larsson’s mantle, and Karin Fossum, an author whose personal experience of murder has had a profound effect on her writing.” Visit the programme website here. This documentary also  features Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen (UCL Scandinavian Studies)

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The Book Club

Scandinavian crime fiction has had an unrivalled success in the UK over the past ten years. Authors such as the Dane Peter Høeg and the Swede Stieg Larsson are best-selling authors worldwide, and BBC has recently been running the original Swedish miniseries and a remake with Kenneth Branagh based on Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander books. Book stores such as Waterstones feature sections with “Scandinavian Chillers” testifying to the popularity and breadth of Nordic crime fiction translated for a British audience. Today, crime writers from all the Nordic countries are in translation, which is a rare occurrence in a British publishing market, where less than 5 percent of available books are translations.

The planned events will bring crime fiction lovers, UCL researchers and students in Scandinavian literature, language, film, history, mythology, politics and sociology, UK translators, publishers, authors, film makers and producers together to share their knowledge of and interest in crime fiction and Nordic cultures. We will investigate the seemingly paradoxical popularity of violent crime fiction in countries well-known for their safe and peaceful welfare states, where people, according to research, are amongst the happiest and most satisfied with their lives in the world. We shall explore what Scandinavian crime fiction has learned from the British tradition, and what makes crime fiction from the Nordic countries particularly Nordic.

Please return to this page to read about the book club we are planning for Spring 2011. More information about how to join, the programme and the books we will read will soon be available from this page.

If you would like to be included on the Nordic Noir email list please contact Nordic Noir.

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