Guardian discusses the Swedish crime wave

by Peter

The Guardian has an interesting article today about the success of Swedish crime fiction writers in Europe during the last year. Swedish crime fiction has increasingly dominated in Scandinavia during the last ten or so years, and is now conquering Europe as well. Guardian’s Allison Flood writes:

Swedish crime fiction dominated book charts across Europe last year with the late Stieg Larsson joined by fellow novelists including Henning Mankell, Liza Marklund and Jens Lapidus in an impressive assault on the bestseller lists.

An analysis of the seven major European book markets over the past 12 months placed Larsson, author of the bestselling Millennium trilogy, firmly in pole position as the top European adult fiction author, heading charts in France, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK.  (…)

Swedish crime, headed up by Larsson and Mankell (10th), was the
flavour of the year in Europe (…)   Liza Marklund, whose
bestselling series about crime reporter Annika Bengtzon has been a
number one bestseller in all five Nordic countries, is in 12th place,
while Jens Lapidus is at 17th and Jan Guillou at 15th. Johan Theorin
and Asa Larsson also make the list (…)

Camilla Läckberg was also tipped for the top – she has yet to make the top 40 ..

Even with writers such as Henning Mankell, Liza Marklund, Johan Theorin, Asa Larsson and Camilla Läckberg now making their names in Europe, there are more new, interesting and good Swedish writers on their way out to European and American readers, such as Hakan Nesser, Roslund Hedstrom, Karin Alvtegen, Mari Jungstedt, Kjell Eriksson, Helene Tursten,  and Ake Edwardsson and more. I strongly feel that 2009 and quite possibly 2010 too will be good years for Swedish and Scandinavian crime fiction in Europe. Penetrating the US market, however, seems to be much more difficult. The publishers are to a large extent blocking access – they are scared of foreign names and afraid of risk.

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