Friday, January 29, 2010

Norwegian Literature Making Headway in the U.S.

Anytime I come across words like “Nordic” or “Norwegian” in U.S. mainstream media, I gobble up the information. So it was exciting last Friday when, during my regular morning scan of the Wall Street Journal, I came across this headline: “The Strange Case of the Nordic Detectives.” The near full-page article by Laura Miller delves into the “growing appeal of Scandinavian crime fiction.”

Miller writes about authors I’m familiar with, but have yet to read (Stieg Larsson and his Millennium Triology, for example), but also introduces authors I’ve never heard of and am putting on my must-read list, including Norwegian Karin Fossum. Miller called Fossum’s book, The Indian Bride, “heart-rending.” Last year, The Indian Bride picked up the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best mystery.

“Counterintuitive as it may seem,” Miller writes, “the Scandinavian brand of moroseness can be soothing in hard times. Its roots lie deep in the ancient, pagan literature of the region, preserved in sagas that were first written down in medieval Iceland.”

The genre seems a perfect accompaniment to the gray and glum Minnesota winter we’ll be trudging through for another two or three months. I can’t wait to dig in.

Viking magazine alert: Look in the April issue for recommended Påskekrim (“Easter Thrillers”) to read.

1 comment:

Marie said...

Yes, there are many talented crime writers in Norway, and Karin Fossum is definitely one of them. Find out about some of the others here