Scandinavian crime fiction has had an unrivaled success in
the UK over the past ten years. Authors such as the Dane Peter Høeg and
the Swede Stieg Larsson are best-selling authors worldwide, and BBC has
recently been running the original Swedish miniseries and a remake with
Kenneth Branagh based on Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander books. Book
stores such as Waterstones feature sections with “Scandinavian Chillers”
testifying to the popularity and breadth of Nordic crime fiction
translated for a British audience. Today, crime writers from all the
Nordic countries are in translation, which is a rare occurrence in a
British publishing market, where less than 5 percent of available books
Our events bring crime fiction lovers, UCL researchers and students in Scandinavian literature, language, film, history, mythology, politics and sociology, UK translators, publishers, authors, film makers and producers together to share their knowledge of and interest in crime fiction and Nordic cultures. We investigate the seemingly paradoxical popularity of violent crime fiction in countries well-known for their safe and peaceful welfare states, where people, according to research, are amongst the happiest and most satisfied with their lives in the world. We explore what Scandinavian crime fiction has learned from the British tradition, and what makes crime fiction from the Nordic countries particularly Nordic.
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