We are proud to present an exciting addition to Nordin Agency: author, actor and playwright Jonas Karlsson (b. 1971). Karlsson has performed on the country’s premier stage at the Royal Dramatic Theatre and is one of Sweden’s most prominent and awarded actors in acclaimed feature films and television series. This multi talented word wizard has also written short story collections and novels, several of them being made onto the screen.
Jonas Karlsson’s latest publication is the multi-layered, seriously funny and darkly bizarre New People in the Wrong Order.
In this collective novel we meet a group of people who all want to be something other than what they are. What do they want to be? New people? How does it work and will it work? A father, a son, a wife, a friend, a girlfriend, an unemployed person, a quiet person, a priest, a guy in a green jacket, the brothers Anders and Patrik, their respective Frida and Victoria. But not in that order. Is everything in life a single circular motion? Who are these people? Are they doing an estate inventory? Are they all in fact the same person? They get tangled up. Just like the stories get tangled up in each other. Some belong together. Some don’t belong together. Some belong together, but maybe not in the way you thought. Or maybe they should? One thing is for sure, uncertainty is the only certainty.
“You don’t know anything about other people. (…) Or, there is an exception. Jonas Karlsson knows. He has found the key to paths of thought and emotional life that allow him to portray with absolute ear… And in his stories about this so everyday and non-special, he creates small slips in existence where everything is put at stake, where everything that both the fictional characters and the reader thought turns out to be something else. If this isn’t a reading adventure, I don’t know.”
“Perhaps the best thing that Karlsson succeeds in doing in this collection is to bring to life a very banal, yet essential insight: This is exactly how unusual all ordinary people are.”
“When I read Jonas Karlsson’s short story collection New People in the Wrong Order, I sometimes have the impression of reading an updated, more cheerful version of Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Cellar Hole. (…) But Dostoevsky’s self-absorbed misanthrope who spews bile at himself and others has, in Karlsson’s version, become a normal condition that has spread to a group of detached people, who all think one thing but say or do something else. This is how humans have always been, but Karlsson takes our inconsistent nature to its maximum point, which makes many seem incomprehensible, absurd, yes almost comical.
“I think of Alice Munro herself when I meet the strugglers in Jonas Karlsson’s New People in the Wrong Order, the actor and author’s so far most playful and a wonderful story cavalcade that revolves around all the things we could have been, all the things we so deeply wish would like to be. Just like with the Nobel laureate, Karlsson’s protagonists dream of breaking up and creating a better, happier life for themselves. And just like with Munro, the attempts usually turn out to be failures. It sounds depressing, but is rather liberating, thankfully life is not a cheesy self-help book and Jonas Karlsson is phenomenal at portraying longing losers with his patented mix of humour, melancholy and warmth. (…) And all the characters elegantly get tangled up in each other’s stories.”