Nordic Book Talk

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 24th August 2015
  • ScanHouseFront

    Nordic book talk at Scandinavia House – The Nordic Center in America. Some very special Nordic literary events in New York. We focus on two book lectures given by Nordic authors who we suggest you follow closely over the coming months, as there is going be a lot of talk about both.     The […]




    Nordic book talk at Scandinavia House – The Nordic Center in America. Some very special Nordic literary events in New York.

    We focus on two book lectures given by Nordic authors who we suggest you follow closely over the coming months, as there is going be a lot of talk about both.

     

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    The Girl in the Spider’s Web – Book talk with David Lagercrantz.

    Tuesday, September 15th, 6.30pm. Free

     

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    Hear Swedish journalist and best-selling author David Lagercrantz discuss the highly-anticipated The Girl in the Spider’s Web (Knopf Doubleday, 2015) – book four in the worldwide bestselling Millennium series of novels, which launched in the U.S. in 2008  – with Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Knopf Doubleday).

    In this adrenaline-charged thriller, genius hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist face a dangerous new threat and must again join forces. Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a trusted source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female super hacker–a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering.

    Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Lisbeth for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. In The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the duo who thrilled 80 million readers in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire (Knopf Doubleday, 2009)and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Knopf Doubleday, 2010) meet again in an extraordinary and uniquely of-the-moment thriller.

    Following the discussion, copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

    About the author

    David Lagercrantz studied philosophy and religion at university and subsequently attended the School of Journalism in Göteborg. After graduating, he worked as a crime reporter for Expressen, a national daily paper. He is now head of news and current affairs on Swedish Public Radio.

    Lagercrantz made his debut as an author in 1997 with the publication of Ultimate High (Discovery Books, 1999), the story of Göran Kropp, the Swedish adventurer who climbed Mount Everest using his own physical means and without any outside assistance. He followed with The Angels of Åmsele (Albert Bonniers Förlag, 1998)about the triple murder he covered as a journalist a decade earlier. In 2000 Lagercrantz published A Swedish Genius (Albert Bonniers Förlag), a biography of inventor Håkan Lans and in 2005, he returned his attention to the Himalayas to write his first thriller, The Sky over Everest (Pirat).

    Lagercrantz is perhaps best known for working with Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimović on his critically acclaimed memoir, I Am Zlatan, which was published by Månpocket in 2011 and broke sales records in Sweden and throughout Europe. The book sold 500,000 hardcover copies in Sweden in less than two months and was later shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award and nominated for the August Prize in Sweden. To date, I Am Zlatan has been published in over 30 languages around the world and sold millions of copies.

    In 2009, Lagercrantz published The Fall of Man in Wilmslow (Forlaget Modtryk), a historical novel about the English mathematician and code-breaker Alan Turing. The book was well received in Sweden and rights were sold to publishers in 15 countries. Knopf will publish the book in the U.S. in fall 2016.

     

    Rock, Paper, Scissors – Book talk with Naja Marie Aidt.

    Thursday, September 10th, 6.30pm. Free

     

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    Acclaimed Danish poet and writer Naja Marie Aidt discusses her long-awaited first novel Rock, Paper, Scissors (Open Letter Books, 2015) – a breathtaking page-turner and complex portrait of a man whose life slowly devolves into one of paranoia and jealousy – with ATLAS magazine editor Maria Marqvard Jensen.

    Rock, Paper, Scissors opens shortly after the death of Thomas and Jenny’s criminal father. While trying to fix a toaster that he left behind, Thomas discovers a secret, setting into motion a series of events leading to the dissolution of his life, and plunging him into a dark, shadowy underworld of violence and betrayal.

    A gripping story written with a poet’s sensibility and attention to language, Rock, Paper, Scissors showcases all of Aidt’s gifts and introduces a whole new audience to one of Denmark’s most decorated and beloved writers.

    Following the discussion, copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

    About the author

    Naja Marie Aidt was born in Greenland and raised in Copenhagen. She is the author of ten collections of poetry and three short story collections, including Baboon (Two Lines Press, 2006), which received the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize (2008) and the Danish Critics’ Prize for Literature (2007). Her books have been translated into nine languages. Rock, Paper, Scissors is her first novel.

    About the moderator

    Maria Marqvard Jensen holds a Masters in Language and Literature from Copenhagen University. She specializes in managing literary events in New York, most recently for the PEN World Voices Festival. She is the book editor for the Danish ATLAS magazine and her translation of Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Adam and Eve was published in Denmark in December 2014 by ATLAS.

     

    ScanHouseFront

     

    Nordic Book Club

    Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of Nordic Book Club – ASF’s newest literary series. This season’s selections include Swedish crime thrillers, Danish contemporary fiction, and Finnish fantasy. Discussions typically take place the last Tuesday of the month in the Halldór Laxness Library at Scandinavia House and online at Scandinaviahouse.org 

    Tuesdays, 6 pm: September 29 & October 27, 2015
    Series continues fall 2015 & winter 2016
    Free | #nordicbookclub

    Head to Scandinaviahouse.org to find out about more Nordic events

    Text and photos courtesy of Scandinavia House.

     

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    Poet’s justice to Nordophile

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 30th July 2015
  • Donna-Sørensen

    A poet’s justice to Nordophile will be undertaken by Donna Sørensen who is taking over Nordophile’s Twitter this Friday 31st July – Monday 3rd Aug. Donna Sørensen is an English travel writer and poet, who has spent the last decade living in places as diverse as Canada, Ireland, France and Denmark. She’s lived in Copenhagen for 7 years and […]




    A poet’s justice to Nordophile will be undertaken by Donna Sørensen who is taking over Nordophile’s Twitter this Friday 31st July – Monday 3rd Aug.

    Donna Sørensen is an English travel writer and poet, who has spent the last decade living in places as diverse as Canada, Ireland, France and Denmark. She’s lived in Copenhagen for 7 years and writes about Denmark for a living, as Digital Content Manager at VisitDenmark. Her debut poetry collection, Dream Country, was published by New Island Books in 2013. Donna is the co-host of the weekly writing podcast Write for Your Life hosted on the 5by5 Network in the USA. Follow her on Twitter @theflyingpoet.

     

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    “I’ve moved around a lot this last decade and that’s inspired my début poetry collection, Dream Country (New Island Books 2013). I was born and raised in the UK, but I now live in Copenhagen with my Danish husband and my half-Viking, half-British children”.

     

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    Check out Donna’s tweets over the next few days where she’s going to introduce you to some new Nordic interests to watch out for! @Nordophile

     

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    Sarah Ward – Author

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 29th July 2015
  • Iceland1

    We’ve been speaking with fellow Nordophile Sarah Ward – author, Scandinavian crime literature judge and crime fiction blogger. Sarah Ward is very much at the heart of Nordic Noir in the UK through her blog, which has reviewed some of the most well-known and successful Nordic Noir literary offerings, as one of the judges alongside […]




    We’ve been speaking with fellow Nordophile Sarah Ward – author, Scandinavian crime literature judge and crime fiction blogger.

    Sarah Ward is very much at the heart of Nordic Noir in the UK through her blog, which has reviewed some of the most well-known and successful Nordic Noir literary offerings, as one of the judges alongside Barry Forshaw and Kat Hall for The Petrona Award for ‘Best Scandinavian Crime Novel‘ and she has recently found the time to sit down and pen her own novel, which although set in the UK most certainly has a noir aspect to it.

     

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    Do you consider yourself a Nordophile and completely embrace the whole culture or are you more specific to Nordic literature? 

    I’ve visited all the Nordic countries with the exception of Norway so I do consider myself a Nordophile. I’ve been to Iceland twice and am going later this year and again in 2016 so that’s the country I know the best. However, my main interest is reading in general and crime and thrillers, in particular, Therefore I’m particularly fascinated by the crime fiction that these countries produce.

     

    Out of all the Nordic countries where do you prefer to visit and learn about?

    The first country that I visited was Sweden, then Denmark and Finland and most recently Iceland. I’m always fascinated by the unknown and therefore I’d say that I want to go to Norway the most at the moment. In particular I’d like to visit the arctic circle. There’s something fascinating about the frozen landscape. I’d also like to visit the Sami region of Scandinavia.

     

    How did you first become interested in Scandinavian crime fiction?

    Henning Mankell was the first Scandinavian writer that I read and loved. It was in the late nineties and I devoured all his books. After that, I tried to find as many Scandinavian crime novels as I could. Early favourites were Arnaldur Indridason and Hakan Nesser.

     

    Your successful blog crimepieces.com reviews crime fiction books, particularly Scandinavian crime, how have you seen this genre grow over the last few years?

    In the 2000s, the genre exploded in the UK. I’ve never paid that much attention to the ‘hype’ in Scandinavian crime fiction. I enjoyed the Steig Larsson trilogy but I that think there are better books out there too. Reading for me, first and foremost, is a pleasurable activity. If a book grips me and I can’t put it down, I can forgive the writer most things. I read for entertainment, pleasure and for escapism. Of course, I also read with a critical eye. But I am first and foremost a reader not a critic. 

     

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    Another role which you have taken on is as one of the judges at the ‘The Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel’. How did Petrona come about and what part do you think the award plays within the Nordic Noir genre?

    The Petrona Award was set up in memory of one of the early bloggers, Maxine Clarke. She was a great reader of Scandinavian crime fiction and supported many of us bloggers when we first started. The award was the brainchild of Karen Meek from Eurocrime and she approached me along with Barry Forshaw and Kat Hall to judge the award. in the three years that it’s been running, we’ve seen the award go from strength to strength and it’s mentioned on the covers of a lot of the shortlisted books. We hope it celebrates the excellence of Scandinavian crime fiction, I think last year there were over forty eligible books. The shortlist was particularly strong and any of those novels could have won.

     

    This has been an extremely busy time for you this past month as you have just published your first crime novel ‘In Bitter Chill’ although it is not set in the Nordics, the ambiance seems to be quite Nordic, was this your intention?

    It wasn’t particularly my intention although the cold landscape has a strong role in my book. I certainly didn’t set out to copy Scandinavian crime fiction. But I think I’m influenced by everything I’ve ever read from Agatha Christie to Jo Nesbo.

     

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    ‘In Bitter Chill’ has been well received, does this mean you have a second novel coming?

    I’ve just finished my second book which is also set in the Derbyshire landscape but this time in spring. It has the same police characters but a new central protagonist. I’m hoping to write a quartet set in the region. So, fingers crossed!

    www.petronaaward.co.uk

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    H.C. Andersen Festivals

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 14th July 2015
  • hcafestivals_20

    Nordophile is excited to showcase H.C. Andersen Festivals in Odense which is a celebration of the everlasting imprint in literature, left by this Danish author. Hans Christian Andersen’s story is one of triumph and through a pure dedication to his given talent, H.C Andersen’s works continue to inspire and remain relevant to this day. With interpretations […]




    Nordophile is excited to showcase H.C. Andersen Festivals in Odense which is a celebration of the everlasting imprint in literature, left by this Danish author.

    Hans Christian Andersen’s story is one of triumph and through a pure dedication to his given talent, H.C Andersen’s works continue to inspire and remain relevant to this day. With interpretations through performing arts and street activities, this festival certainly promotes not only one of Denmarks most famous natives but also the support of the arts and culture here.

     

     

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    H.C. Andersen Festivals takes place every year in week 34. During the festival, Odense city is buzzing with cultural activities such as concerts, theatre, 3D show and much more. All inspired by Hans Christian Andersen and his creative and inspiring universe. The festival has something to offer for all ages with its wide variety of cultural events.

    There will be traditional events such as guided tours, lectures and theatrical performances all set around Hans Christian Andersen and his universe. In addition, there will also be unexpected events and activities such as street art and performances, light shows, and many other modern interpretations of Hans Christian Andersen and his fairy tales. All of this will be taking place in and around downtown Odense.

    The festival’s goal is to promote Odense both nationally in Denmark and internationally through Hans Christian Andersen and his universe.

     

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    Hans Christian Andersen’s universe can be described using words like adventure, fantasy, and wonder, but it is also much much more. You will be able to experience all of these things and more at the Hans Christian Andersen Festivals. The inspiration for events is mostly taken from Professor Johs. Nørregaard Frandsen from the H.C. Andersen Center, University of Southern Denmark. Nørregaard Frandsen has come up with seven words that will shape the events at the festival.

    Hans Christian Andersen’s fantasy world is without equal and has inspired many people’s creativity worldwide. The Hans Christian Andersen Festivals will reflect this. The festival will focus on innovation and quality with close cooperations between cultural institutions, educations, and existing festivals in Odense.

    The extra “S” in Hans Christian Andersen Festivals signifies our cooperation with other festivals also taking place in August.

     

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    Facts about the Hans Christian Andersen Festivals

    • The festival will be taking place on August 16th-23th..
    • The festival has been funded by a group of professionals for the next three years, 2013-2015. The new agreements are made for 2016 and 2017.
    • In addition to the business community of Odense, the festival is also supported by the Nordea Foundation, Odense Municipality, Region Southern Denmark, Developing Fyn and the generosity of other local funds, sponsors, and partners.
    • The festival is organized with a board and four professional committees. Both the board and committees are working voluntarily.
    • Each year the festival will be handing out awards.
    • The festival will consist of both free and paid admission events around the city.

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    hcafestivals.dk

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    Nordic Supernatural

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 13th July 2015
  • Saraochmats01_fotoMagnusLiamKarlsson

    Nordophile has noticed an engrossment in Nordic Supernatural recently and we wanted to look closer at the amalgamation of different genres within the Nordic category. Nordic Noir is a genre which has exploded into the homes of Nordophiles everywhere. Nordic murder and intrigue has gone global as a genre, but there has recently been an […]




    Nordophile has noticed an engrossment in Nordic Supernatural recently and we wanted to look closer at the amalgamation of different genres within the Nordic category.

    Nordic Noir is a genre which has exploded into the homes of Nordophiles everywhere. Nordic murder and intrigue has gone global as a genre, but there has recently been an interest for readers to find out what other genres Nordic authors are producing.

    With the rising obsession for dramas coming our way like Jordskott from Sweden which is both supernatural and mythical, we are now questioning which books can feed our Nordic passion if we don’t just want Noir.

     

     

    Nordophile is taken by two very talented writers, Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg from Sweden who have done just that. Teaming up they have co-wrote a supernatural, mythology trilogy from the depths of the Nordic heartland (Bergslagen, Sweden) to bring us not just your typical Nordic, dark, intense novel full of transgressions and subtle undertones of social malfunctions but this writing duo have expanded the subject and added the element of supernatural realism where this thread seems to run adjacent with everyday life. The writers have thought this through and not just taken the chance to just take a different path, because you get the feeling that this is a subject they believe in, one they want to filter through, making a natural impact. Nordic Supernatural looks like it’s slowly starting to work its way up with its counterparts and we expect much more of the coming months.

     

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    The Engelsfors Trilogy

    This trilogy contains the titles THE CIRCLE, FIRE and THE KEY. THE CIRCLE was published in April 2011 in Sweden, FIRE in April 2012 and the final part, THE KEY was published in Sweden autumn 2013.

     

    THE CIRCLE

    6 young girls who just started high school, and who have nothing in common, find out they are hunted by an ancient evil. Involuntarily they are all drawn to a meeting in the forest one late night when the moon is mysteriously red. They are told that they are witches. They are ‘The Chosen Ones’. From this day on, they must learn how to work together despite their differences and they have to master the forces that have awakened within them. Time is running out. Something is hunting them and if they don’t find it and defeat it, it will find them.

                                                  

    FIRE

    ‘The Chosen Ones’ ones are about to start their second year in senior high school. The whole summer break they have held their breaths waiting for the demons’ next move. But the threat shows up from another direction, somewhere they could never have foreseen. It becomes more and more obvious that something is very, very wrong in Engelsfors. The past is woven together with the present. The living meet the dead. The Chosen ones are tied even closer together and are once again reminded that magic cannot ease unhappy love or mend broken hearts.

                               

    THE KEY

    The final title in the trilogy is THE KEY.  The threads and paths are woven together, and the finale is fantastic as the girls and others involved manage to stop the apocalypse.

     

    The trilogy has gone global and the interest for The Circle has been huge from day one. The rights are now sold to 29 countries.

     

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    Genre

    The books are written as crossover titles and aims for young adults and teenagers. But the way they are written they can easily be read by adults as well which from readership seems to be true, it appeals to a wide range audience. One big difference from other books in this genre of paranormal titles is that it’s not the story about pretty girl meets dangerous boy/man (ie vampire). Instead, the main characters are six strong and brave young girls struggling to find themselves and to do good.

     

    Publisher                                                                                             

    As soon as Rabén & Sjögren, one of Sweden’s leading publisher of children’s  and YA books,  laid eyes on the script they wanted to publish the trilogy, and invested big in the whole trilogy from day one with a first print run of 12 000 copies, which is very high for Sweden. As of today, the first book in the trilogy has sold 140 000 copies in Sweden alone.

     

    Film 

    The film rights for THE ENGELSFORS TRILOGY were sold to the new film production company RMV Film, owned and run by former ABBA-member Benny Andersson and his son Ludvig Andersson.  Mats Strandberg and Sara B. Elfgren both took an active part in the project. Sara B. Elfgren wrote the script together with director Levan Akin. The film aired in Sweden in February 2015 and July 8th 2015 it was released on dvd and blueray in Sweden.

     

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    Find out more worldofengelsfors.com

    Photos Magnus Liam Karlsson & Niklas Alexandersson.

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