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2022:1

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Issue number: 2022:1

LATEST ISSUE

2022:1

Featuring works by Mikael Bergstrand, Kerstin Ekman, Anna-Lena Laurén, Björn Ranelid, Maria Wine, Nina Wähä and more.

Editor: Alex Fleming
Reviews Editors: Fiona Graham and Darcy Hurford
Advisory Editors: Deborah Bragan-Turner, Sarah Death, Paul Norlen and Linda Schenck
Social Media: Sophie Ruthven
New Books: Alice E Olsson

Photo by Kumiko SHIMIZU on Unsplash

It is amid an outpouring of sadness and outrage that we publish this spring issue of Swedish Book Review. We condemn the Russian Federation’s brutal, unjustifiable military assault on Ukraine and its cities, people and culture. We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, and with all those who oppose this war.

In the light of such events, we are grateful to Dagens Nyheter for granting us permission to publish a translation of a column written by esteemed journalist Anna-Lena Laurén prior to the invasion – an illuminating, personal piece on the insanity of war. We also present an extract from Anna-Lena Laurén’s The Velvet Dictatorship, a book that offers a valuable insight into life under the Putin regime.

Meanwhile, in translated fiction, Nina Wähä explores a complex power dynamic between friends in the simmering psychological drama Babetta, and Kerstin Ekman returns to the novel format with The Wolf Run, an intimate portrait of nature and the human psyche.

A small town is struck by an inconceivable tragedy in Björn Ranelid’s Bill Nilsson’s Last White Shirt, while Mikael Bergstrand’s The Consultant Who Wouldn’t Swim brings us a warmly humorous tale of a self-satisfied consultant who is forced to take stock of his life. Finally, Arthur Allen presents a translated folio of the early poetic works of Maria Wine, a doyenne of Swedish literary modernism.

Elsewhere, in features, Anna Maria Hellberg Moberg discusses the gains and pitfalls of self-translation, and we spend a day in the life of subtitler Alexander Keiller.

Our illuminating reviews section offers insight into a wide range of recent publications in Swedish, and we are also pleased to present a brand new list of Swedish and Finland-Swedish books published in English translation in 2022.

We hope that you enjoy reading this issue. With thanks, and with hope for peace.

Translations

Kerstin Ekman with dog in forest landscape.

LATEST TRANSLATION

from The Wolf Run by Kerstin Ekman

Kerstin Ekman returns with her first novel in ten years, an intimate and captivating tale of a man and his wife of many years, of their love for their community, their family, their dogs and for the natural world of which they are a part.
Translated by Linda Schenck.

Nina Wähä in white shirt with head resting on hand

LATEST TRANSLATION

from Babetta by Nina Wähä

'She calls and I come. That’s how it is. That’s how it has always been. She asks me and I do as she says.' Nina Wähä returns with a suggestive novel that explores the complexities of friendship
Translated by Sarah Death.

Features

Reviews

curated by Fiona Graham, edited by Fiona Graham and Darcy Hurford

Fiction

Book cover of den svarta månens år

LATEST REVIEW

Den svarta månens år

‘The absurd is a reality, he thought, forming a snowball between his hands, there’s no need to twist the text to find it, it’s there all the time.’ Year of the Black Moon, a delightful but troubling existential detective novel, follows a disillusioned scholar on an epic quest for clues and meaning when his normal life is derailed by concussion.

Book cover of röda rummet

LATEST REVIEW

Röda Rummet

'Published author looking to buy an apartment in south Helsinki. Offer me a good price, and I’ll write you a book!’ So begins The Red Room, a novel about dominance, submission, manipulation, and the darker side of human relationships that unfortunately fails to fulfil its potential.

book cover of Nikes bok

LATEST REVIEW

Nikes bok

Disaster strikes in a small seaside community, bonding families and signalling the beginning of a succession of landmark events in their lives. In Nikky's Book Lidbeck explores the ways people deal with adversity, and its effects on friendships and relationships.

Thrillers/Crime

Book cover of Nattavaara

LATEST REVIEW

Nattavaara

In a post-apocalyptic dystopian world of the not-too-distant future, the global order as we know it has collapsed. Nattavaara, a strong example of speculative fiction, explores what it takes to survive in the fictional nation of Nordmark in this new era.

Graphic novels

Fiction for children and teenagers

Book cover of Inte din baby

LATEST REVIEW

Inte din baby

In Seluah Alsaati’s Not Your Baby we meet Samira: star football player and burgeoning rapper, perhaps the next Cardi B. She knows who her friends are, and what she wants from a guy – three simple demands, nothing complicated. Then she meets Nabil, and her whole world is turned upside down ... and not totally for the better.

Non-fiction

Book cover of Hon minns inte

LATEST REVIEW

Hon minns inte

In She Doesn’t Remember, a writer, psychologist and literary translator is inspired to write a moving, timely account of his mother’s dementia that will resonate with many readers outside Sweden.

Book cover of Hemtjänstmaffian

LATEST REVIEW

Hemtjänstmaffian

An account of a remarkable court case against the most unlikely of criminal gangs – private home care providers – is followed by well-informed commentary, case histories and interviews in The Home Care Mafia. Finally, a piece of journalistic dynamite: a unique list, naming and shaming assorted provider organisations and local authorities.

Book cover of Förintelsens barn

LATEST REVIEW

Förintelsens Barn

Margit Silberstein’s Children of the Holocaust is an important story to tell in today’s transcultural Sweden, as the discussion of migrant/postmigrant identity is an increasingly relevant topic in the political and cultural discourse.