Until recently, I ran a Scandinavian book club amongst the Nordic clubs in my city. The book club was a success until everyone got too busy and decided to go home to Scandinavia for the summer. (Can’t say I blame them!) Over the years that it was active, I managed to accumulate a list of interesting authors, and at my blogger friend Poppy’s The Viking Queen’s suggestion, have published the below list according to country of author’s origin, for anyone who wishes to discover the wonderful world of Scandinavian fiction.*
- My primary interest is crime fiction so be warned that this list is not exhaustive and is heavily biased towards writers of crime fiction. Most of these titles have been translated into English.
I will reveiw Lars Kepler’s book in coming weeks.
Christensen, Lars Saaybe – Historical Fiction
Christian Jungersen – The Exception TBR
Sara Blaedel – Blue Blood, tr. Erik J Macki & Tara F Chace. Crime fiction featuring Louis Rick.
Elsebeth Egholm – Three Dog Night. An Excellent Writer
Friis, Agnete & Kaaberbol, Lene – The Boy in the Suitcase; Not a bad read
Peter Høeg – Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, (a great read) and others much more obscure
Steffen Jacobsen – When the Dead Awaken
Martin Jensen – The King’s Hounds, tr. Tara Chace
Lotte and Soren Hammer – The Hanging, tr. Ebba Segerberg
Jussi Adler-Olsen – Redemption
Dan Turrell – Murder in the Dark, tr. Mark Mussari
Antti Tuomainen – The Healer tr: Lola Rogers TBR
Leena Lehtolainen – Her Enemy, tr. Owen Witesman TBR
Pekka Hiltunen – Cold Courage, tr. Owen Witesman TBR
Jokinen, Seppo – Detective Sakari Koskinen series TBR
Arnaldur Indridason – Cold Crime/ police procedural series featuring Inspector Erlendur: at least one of which was made into a movie (Jar City)
Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson – Daybreak, TBR
Halldor Laxness – Iceland’s Bell and Atom Station (historical fiction; depicts Icelandic rural life)
Yrsa Sigurdardottir – Someone to Watch Over Me TBR
Thomas Enger – Burned
Karin Fossum – I Can See in the Dark, tr. James Anderson. Crime Fiction. Often writes about people on society’s fringe. Inspector Konrad Sejer series
Jostein Gaarder – Sophie’s World – Fiction story that introduces you to philosophy in a fascinating way.
Knut Hamsun – Hunger; I would get shot for not mentioning it, and drawn and quartered for saying that it was boring, my apologies to all Norwegians, but,as it was considered a landmark in literature, it is listed here.
Gaute Heivoll – Before I Burn, tr. Don Bartlett
Anne Holt – Crime fiction from a former Norwegian Minister for Justice including the Hanne Wilhelmson detective series and characters: Former FBI profiler Johanne Vik & Detective Inspector Adam Stubo
Jorn Lier Horst – Closed for Winter, tr. Anne Bruce. Character: Chief Inspector William Wisting, Larvik
Jan Kjaerstad – The Conqueror
Gunnar Kopperud – Historical fiction and politics intertwined. Should be just my thing but “The Time of Light” is violent and not my favourite book, but listed here anyway)
Jo Nesbo – Thriller/crime fiction series with Detective Harry Hole. Also stand alone novel “Headhunters” was made into a movie in 2011
Per Pettersen – Out Stealing Horses and To Siberia (set in Denmark during WWII)
Gunnar Staalesen – Cold Hearts, tr. Don Bartlett
Linn Ullman – Daughter of actress Liv Ullman, novelist. Stella Descending is a good read.
Karin Altvegen – Shame, Shadow:- psychological thrillers
Kjell Eriksson,Crime series
Marianne Fredrikkson – Hanna’s daughters: Wonderful story of three generations of woman. Excellent fiction. ‘Simon & the Oaks’ was made into a movie in 2011
Grebe & Traff – More Bitter Than Death
Marie Hermanson – The Devil’s Sanctuary, tr. Neil Smith
Published in the US only (at the moment): Anna Jansson – Strange Bird, tr. Paul Norlen, Stockholm Text
Mari Jungstedt – The Double Silence, Unseen, Unspoken. (Crime Fiction)
Mons Kallentoft – Savage Spring, tr. Neil Smith; Midwinter Sacrifice
Lars Kepler – The Fire Witness, The Hypnotist (reads well, scary, and a bit bloodthirsty in parts)
Camilla Lackberg – Journalist Erica Falck crime fiction series set in Fjallbacka, Sweden Light crime fiction where the characters become more like old friends
Jens Lapidus – Never F**k Up (apa Never Screw Up), tr. Astri von Arbin Ahlander
Stieg Larson – Lisbeth Salander Trilogy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, well you know the rest…..
Åsa Larsson – Rebecka Martinsson series of detective novels.
John Ajvide Lindqvist – Let the right one in- Story about vampires, but don’t let that put you off. I would never read books on vampires, but this one is very different and was also made into a movie, and remade into an American movie.
Henning Mankell – Very popular crime fiction writer. A multitude of books, and TV series (Swedish/English)
Liza Marklund – Very popular crime fiction with the character: Annika Bengtzon (journalist) Also a TV series
Anders de la Motte – Game, tr. Neil Smith
Håkan Nesser – Set in a fictional town in Sweden with Inspector Van Veteran (police procedural/crime fiction with cutting sardonic wit)
Woman with Birthmark, The Return
Kristina Ohlsson – The Disappeared, tr. Marlaine Delargy
Leif Persson – Linda, as in the Linda Murder
Roslund & Hellstrom – Fictional character Detective Inspector Ewert Grens. – in my TBR pile.
Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo – A timeless Martin Beck police procedural and crime fiction series written in sixties/seventies
Alexander Söderberg – Set in the South of Sweden
Tursten, Helene – crime fiction featuring Inspector Huss, Gothenburg
Worthy also of note:
Andrew Stevensen – Non- Fiction; “Summer light”; A Walk across Norway. Not a Norwegian writer, but nevertheless great travel account.
Thunder God – a historical fiction novel about the Vikings and what it was like to live in those times. Loved this one, was really in the moment with the character.
Some more authors that I am not so familiar with:
Tor Age Bringsvaerd – science fiction literature – Norwegian
Ingvar Ambjörnsen – Elling series – one has been made into a movie
Anne B Ragde
Dag Solstad – • Professor Andersen’s Night
And if you like those books, you probably would also like this one, which is more a travel book, but its non-fiction theme is Scandinavia.
True North – Gavin Francis Travels in the Arctic, following the travels of ancient Nordic explorers.
I recommend checking out Karen over at Euro crime for seeking details of other Scandinavian authors and further listings of individual Scandinavian titles to ponder about.