Swedish fiction

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Acts of Infidelity by Lena Andersson (transl. Saskia Vogel): Balancing the emotional books

I reviewed Lena Andersson’s sharply observed, witty novella Wilful Disregard here a couple of years ago. It’s a study in obsession that has you squirming in your seat. Acts of Infidelity sees its main protagonist, Ester Nillson, once again in the grips of monomania, this time for Olof who is performing in her play, Threesome, about …

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In Every Moment We Are Still Alive by Tom Malmquist (transl. Henning Koch): A grief observed and endured

Acclaimed poet Tom Malmquist’s book comes labelled by the publisher as a piece of ‘auto-fiction’ – a novel based on the author’s life rather than a memoir. Already garlanded with prizes in the author’s native Sweden, it’s the story of Tom whose partner Karin dies a few weeks after the premature birth of their daughter, …

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Wilful Disregard by Lena Andersson (transl. Sarah Death): None so blind as those who will not see

I already had Lena Andersson’s Wilful Disregard in my sights but when Charlotte Collins, translator of the excellent A Whole Life, left a comment praising it to the skies on my January paperback preview it zoomed up my list. She called it ‘the cleverest dissection of misguided obsession that I’ve ever read’, a spot on …

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A Summer with Kim Novak by Håkan Nesser (transl. Saskia Vogel): A Swedish period piece

I have to admit to picking this up because it’s Swedish. I read it during what seemed to be a period of deep virtual immersion in Scandiland – watching the first series of The Legacy re-watching Borgen and reading Martin Booth’s excellent The Almost Nearly Perfect People squarely aimed at people like me who have …

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The Room by Jonas Karlsson (transl. Neil Smith): Kafka in the office

This is my second review of a Scandi book this year and we’re only half-way through January. Both prove that it’s not all crime and angst in the chilly north. Jonas Karlsson’s short fable manages to be wacky, funny and thought-provoking all within a very few pages. Set in an open plan Swedish office, it’s …

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