Nordin Agency congratulates Andrzej Tichý and Therese Bohman, both of which have been nominated for the August Prize 2016. Their novels Wretchedness (Eländet) and Eventide (Aftonland) represent the best in Swedish contemporary fiction.
Eventide is Therese Bohman’s third novel. Through serene prose, Bohman tells the story of an art professor who is looking for freedom, but only seems to find loneliness. An ideological novel where our protagonist is trying to find a way to be her own individual without adjusting to anyone else’s ideals.
The jury’s motivation for Eventide:
“The night is closing in over Stockholm and it’s late at Frescati. Karolina is a newly separated art professor supervising a student with a sensational approach to a female symbolist. She uses sex, wine and decadent art to move between the contemporaries whose company she is unhappy with. Her class trip has reinforced her loneliness and the sweetness of revenge is all that remains. Therese Bohman has written a perceptive novel of ideas, it’s delicate and seemingly digestible.”
Through Wretchedness, Andrzej Tichý tells a visceral and urgent story about a young cellist forced to confront suppressed memories of his upbringing in the suburbs of Malmö. His experimental prose and beautiful character depiction enhance the political undertone of this brilliant novel.
The jury’s motivation for Wretchedness:
“One morning a young cellist meets himself – or someone he could have been – in the form of a beggar. From a repressed past rises a flow of voices, which testifies to vulnerability, abuse and violence. What should survivors do with their history? Can you be in solidarity with the friends you left behind? Andrzej Tichý depicts a miserable reality in a hard-hitting form. His polyphonic novel has a hard, rhythmic language and an inexorable fury.”
Congratulations to both of these extremely talented authors!
The August Prize is named after the famous Swedish author August Strindberg, and is one of the most celebrated and prestigious literary prizes in Sweden.
Founded by the Swedish Publishers’ Association in 1989, the intention was to institute an annual award for the best Swedish books of the year in order to increase public interest in Swedish contemporary literature. The August Prize is awarded in three categories: Best Swedish Fiction Book of the Year, Best Swedish Non-Fiction Book of the Year, and Best Swedish Children’s Book of the Year.
“’The Elephant’s Foot is a beautiful, lingering novel: the plot is simple but the prose is intense and full of images.”
Josefin Holmström, Svenska Dagbladet
Hessérus, a graduate in Medicine from Uppsala University and a trained dancer from the Swedish Royal Ballet School, started out as a dramatist and wrote several plays for radio, television and the stage. However, it was her two collections of short stories, Not as Beautiful as in Valparaíso and The Dead Queen that introduced her original and graceful style of writing to a wider audience. Since then her novels To Isola and The City Without Women has enthralled readers with their visionary and multi-faceted stories, poetic narratives and sharp criticism of modern urban life.
Her third novel, The Elephant’s Foot, was published in March 2016 marking the 25th anniversary of the disaster in Chernobyl. In it, we follow young, Swedish, biologist Katarina as she faces the perilous nature of the forbidden zone while navigating the politics of a small international team of scientists.
Scientific accuracy is pitted against irrationality, sense against sensibility. Madeleine Hessérus writes about love and human kind’s complex relationship with civilisation and nature in a lucid, eloquent prose.
”I read the book slowly to prolong the pleasure of the novel’s suggestive description of the scientists’ surprisingly passionate existences. Patiently gathering data, aloofness and envy, the irrational disgruntlement /… / Hessérus’ portrayal of the scientists’ expeditions into the zone is a literary achievement. The prose wriggles and almost spills out of the pages in the same way that the trees pierce through abandoned buildings in the real-life town of Pripyat / … / ‘The Elephant’s Foot’ is an oil painting disguised as a novel.”
Inga-Lina Lindqvist, Aftonbladet
”The writing in Madeleine Hessérus’ ‘The Elephant’s Foot’ is startlingly beautiful when she describes how nature is reclaiming the zone, the sealed off area around Chernobyl’s quarantined nuclear power plant.”Milena Bergquist, Femina
Anna Karolina Larsson debuted last year with Stolen Baboon a female take on the slick, modern gangster thriller and ”one of the most interesting debuts in the genre”. This suspenseful, literary and above all completely new crime novel was also nominated for the Crimetime Specsavers Debut Award 2015.
Now Anna Karolina Larsson is back with a second novel about her main character, the headstrong, independent and very likable Amanda Paller.
No More Fish in the Sea is a sequel that surprises with its spectacular theme and the way the plot is built around the main characters.
Three years later Amanda is now the mother of twins!
When several cannibalistic murders take place in Stockholm Amanda is put on the case. At each crime scene there is a different murderer, a murderer under the influence of the dreaded cannibal drug. Amanda is convinced the murderers are victims, forced or tricked into taking the drug.
Who is behind the druggings that makes people kill loved family members?
After several years abroad return Adnan to Sweden to clear his name and make up with the past.
The inevitable happens and Amanda and Adnan meet and realize they are connected to the case in more than one way.
Like the debut No More Fish in the Sea is a plot-driven thriller set in the borderland between right and wrong and an austere and fast-paced style characterizes the novel.
The series about Sweden’s coolest police woman cranks up the pace
Leif GW Persson has written about police work in an authentic way and Jens Lapidus has portrayed the career criminals from an insider’s perspective without moralizing. Anna Karolina combines these, cranks up the pace and gives us Sweden’s coolest police woman.
It’s hard to find a more action-packed and thrilling book than this one
The plot is complex and gruesome. And terribly exciting in addition. Anna Karolina skilfully connects the different parts of the plot and maintains the pace throughout the book. Her description of the underworld is Lapidus-esque, and gives a good account of the stuff that happens where most of us have never ventured.
Nisse Scherman, DAST
I read without stopping and marvel at the particularly vivid, realistic characters.
What really sets it apart, however, is the sensuality. Never before have I read a Swedish novel that is so concerned with bodies, both at the gym and in bed, and that at the same time manages to describe everything so authentically and eloquently. This is the explanation for my very own ”ok, just one more chapter”.
Magnus Sjöholm, NT
Just like the debut, “No More Fish In the Sea” is an exceptionally well-written and profound crime novel, a worthy sequel to “Stolen Baboon”, and a book that confirms that Anna Karolina is a Swedish crime writer to look out for.
Kerstin Bergman, Crime Garden
After several years with the Stockholm Police department, officer Anna Karolina Larsson decided to use her inside knowledge of Stockholm’s criminal world and write a novel. She enrolled at the Writers’ Academy at Lund University and it soon became obvious that she has great talent.
Not only does she skilfully use her knowledge from her work to describe the police procedures and the criminal world with great authenticity, she also portrays the ties between the characters, the weight of betrayal and expectations and disappointment with seldom seen credibility.