Persson and Lindell via Facebook

Although I have an account at Facebook I don't often go there, even though it might look as if I do, because blog posts here and items I write at FriendFeed (where I do spend a little time most days) automatically import into my profile. However, Karen Meek joined Facebook recently and immediately unearthed various crime-fiction-related people and goings-on there, one of which is the "Fans of Scandinavian crime novels" group. Although I dislike calling myself a "fan" of anything, I did join this group, which was set up by Glen Dersley.

One of our discussion threads there is of our favourite novel (not sure if Facebook URLs resolve correctly if you are not already a member and in the group at the link). And via that route I have learned of two novelists who sound very good but who do not yet seem to be translated into English. One is Leif G. W. Persson, and the other is Unni Lindell (both recommended by Risto Raitio).

Leif Persson, according to an automatically translated Wikipedia entry, has written eight novels and a long-running TV series in Sweden, as well as a couple of films. He is also a professional criminologist, appears regularly on TV, and has written books on cookery and hunting (maybe these last two topics are related!). Although he was born in Stockholm, Wikipedia refers to him as American; it is a fascinating biography (despite the auto-translation).

Unni Lindell is a Norwegian writer who was a journalist before her first book, The Green Day, was published in 1986. Since then she's written many books, including a series about a detective called Cato Isaksen (see this automatically translated Wikipedia page).

So, Facebook has been useful in introducing me to two authors of whom I hadn't previously heard, but whose books I can't read unless they are translated into English. (Or are they and Amazon doesn't list the translations?)

Here is the Fans of Scandinavian crime novels Facebook group (if the link works). All are welcome to join.

7 thoughts on “Persson and Lindell via Facebook

  1. Leif G.W.Persson is a two time winner of the Best Swedish Crime Novel in 1982 and again in 2003. He was involved in the debate/argument regarding younger attractive female authors such as Camilla Lackberg and Liza Marklund.
    He is definitely not as telegenic as those two authors and I think he is almost as old as me!

  2. Interesting, Norman, thanks. Are his books in English though, do you
    know? Nothing wrong with a younger, attractive author. At the moment I
    am reading a much older one, Camilleri, and what a wonderful writer he
    is. I am totally absorbed (Rounding the Mark).

  3. I sent my reply above via email as the notification message said I could. I don’t much like the formatting, though! So I’ll reply to comments directly on the blog in future.

  4. Persson is on my list of authors I’m hoping to see appear in translation, Maxine, but it hasn’t happened yet. I hadn’t looked at the Wikipedia article — it is intriguing stuff and whets the appetite for those translations. Thanks for that link, for the great pleasure of your blogging this year, and a very happy New Year to you and your family.

  5. Thank you for this lovely comment, Philip. And also, thank you for your various erudite and informative comments over the past year, which have been much appreciated. Long may they continue.
    And a very happy New Year to you and your family, of course.

  6. Hi Maxine,
    Here’s some info on Unni Lindell and Leif G.W. Persson. I think I may have done a sample translation from one of Lindell’s Cato Isaksen procedurals several years back for an agent in Sweden, but so far it looks as though she hasn’t sold. (Hard to remember, we do a lot of samples.) I thought the series was promising, though.
    I was approached about Persson once, but his bestseller in Sweden at the time turned out not to be suitable for the US market, since one of the detectives was an unreconstructed racist. Not amusing — I declined any involvement in that one. Later a colleague of mine translated something by him, but I’m not sure whether publication was canceled or not — I’ve never seen any mention of the book being in print. If you read German, at least 7 of his books have been translated, and some to Spanish, according to Amazon.
    There are many other competent crime fiction writers all over Scandinavia, perhaps not on the A-list like Stieg Larsson and Mankell, but definitely as good as B-list Anglophone mystery writers. I wish more publishers would get interested; there’s plenty to choose from.
    Since you liked Leif Davidsen’s Serbian Dane, I should tell you about his first novel, which we published at our small house Fjord Press in 1986: The Sardine Deception. It was one of PW’s best books of the year and even the NY Times liked it, back in the day when a small press could get a review there. I still have a few copies if you’re interested. It’s a Hitchcockian thriller set in San Sebastian and Madrid, where a young jurist from Copenhagen goes to collect the body of his TV-journalist wife who was killed in a cafe bombing by ETA. And then the Guardia Civil steps in…
    Feliz Año Nuevo from Albuquerque,
    ‘Reg Keeland’

  7. Dear Reg
    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, and for such fascinating information. Given what Norman has said about Persson’s sexist comments (Lisa Marklund) it is perhaps not surprising to read that he’s also racist. Yes, I would certainly be interested in that Leif Davidson early work- some of his books are due to be translated, according to the expert Karen of Euro Crime. I am very interested by what you say about the Scandinavian authors yet to be translated – I think the publisher Quercus (MacLehose is an imprint of theirs) is interested in more Scandinavian translations. I’ve very much enjoyed so many Scandinavian authors this year (eg Asa Larsson, Jungstedt, Theorin, Sigurdadottier, Indridason, Grytten etc), you would think that publishers would be only too keen to cash in! (For 2009 I am looking forward to the next Fossum, some Kjell Eriksson, a couple of Nessars and Edwardsens….etc).

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