2015:2 Issue

Editorial2015:2 Issue

It was with extreme sadness that Laurie Thompson’s many friends and colleagues learned of his death this summer.The part he has played in the promotion of Swedish literature in the UK is immense and at Swedish Book Review we owe him a very special debt of gratitude: when SELTA was offered the opportunity to take over Swedish Books in 1983, Laurie volunteered for the task.The rest, as they say, is history: he changed the name to Swedish Book Review and went on to edit it for twenty years.The journal went from strength to strength, and without his dedication and vision, and that of his successor Sarah Death, who was at the helm from 2003 until 2015, we would not be reading it today. Just as we were finalising this issue we received further sad news that our long-serving advisory editor and active contributor, Helena Forsås-Scott, had passed away, and here we acknowledge two enormous losses to Swedish literature in the UK and beyond.

On 20 March 2015 the journal of the Swedish book trade, Svensk bokhandel, published a statement from the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books that the annual analysis of Swedish children’s literature output showed 2014 to be a record year. Similarly The Bookseller reported on 5 May that, according to Nielsen BookScan, 2014 was a record year for children’s books in the UK, with sales increasing by 9.1% on the previous year. However, at around the same time in an article for English PEN sent from the Bologna Book Fair, translator Daniel Hahn, chair of the Society of Authors, sounded a warning note: ‘[. . .] in recent years our children’s publishing world has been as closed to work from other languages as it’s ever been’. In November 2014 SELTA organised a translation workshop on children’s and young adult literature, generously funded by the Swedish Arts Council, the Embassy of Sweden in London, University College London and the Anglo-Swedish Literary Foundation. In this issue we bring together extracts from the work of the five inspiring Swedish authors who participated in that event. SBR also looks at children’s books from the perspective of other actors in the book chain, in interviews with a respected book blogger and a successful publisher.

‘Possessing a world language can make us oddly provincial in outlook’: the words of Professor Marina Warner, chair of judges for the Man Booker International Prize (Guardian, 2 June 2015), pointing to the findings of a recent report from Literature Across Frontiers, which showed that still just three per cent of books published in the UK were in translation. We examine what these statistics tell us about Swedish literary translation.

To complete our coverage in this issue, we include adult fiction in an extract from a highly original – and epic – trilogy, and, of course, a very exciting selection of new book reviews.

 

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Laurie Thompson 1938-2015

Marlaine Delargy presents a tribute to Laurie Thompson, first editor of SBR and outstanding prolific literary translator, who died in June 2015.

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The Moon Tower

Introduced and translated by Saskia Vogel

Saskia Vogel introduces the work of Per Gustavsson in the context of the translation workshop on children’s and young adult literature organised by SELTA in 2014, and presents her translation of Gustavsson’s The Moon Tower.

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from Mr Fighat and Castle Thoufve

Translated and introduced by Joanna Flower.

Annelis Johansson was nominated twice for the August Prize for Young Writers before making her publishing debut in 2007 with the first of three YA novels. Joanna Flower introduces her work and presents her translation of an extract from Mr Fighat and Castle Thoufve, which is aimed at a slightly younger audience.

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from 62 Days

Translated and introduced by Nichola Smalley

Cilla Naumann is an author of adult and young adult fiction, a screenwriter and journalist. Nichola Smalley introduces Naumann and presents her translation of an extract from 62 Days.

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Translated Books from Gecko Press: Curiously Good

SBR interviews children's book publisher Julia Marshall, who set up Gecko Press, which celebrates its tenth birthday in 2015.

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from Jagger Jagger

Translated and introduced by Kate Lambert

Kate Lambert presents her translation of an extract from Jagger Jagger by Frida Nilsson, who won the Astrid Lindgren Prize in 2014, the award citing her 'fantastic sense of what it is to feel different'.

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from Journey to the Scariest Land in the World

Translated and introduced by Martin Murrell

Martin Murrell comments on the issues associated with the translation of Malte Persson's Journey to the Scariest Land in the World, and presents his rendering of a section of this children's story in verse.

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‘Blogger Extraordinaire’

SBR interviews the Bookwitch, aka Ann Giles, a much respected book blogger in the UK, who was born in Stockholm, studied at Gothenburg University and moved to England in 1982.

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from Life at Any Price

Translated and introduced by B J Epstein

B. J. Epstein introduces the novelist Kristina Sandberg ("Sweden's contemporary Virginia Woolf") and presents her translation of an extract from Sandberg's most recent novel, Life at Any Price.

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Three Per Cent? A Look at the Statistics

Ian Giles distils the key findings of the long-awaited statistical report Publishing Translated Literature in the United Kingdom and Ireland 1990-2012 that are of particular interest to readers of SBR.

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Helena Forsås-Scott 1945-2015

Sarah Death presents a tribute to the life and work of Professor Helena Forsås-Scott, who died in July 2015.

 


BOOKSHELF: REVIEWS, edited by Fiona Graham

Här är världenYlva Karlsson and Emelie Östergren, Här är världen (Here is the World)

Hippobokförlag, 2015.

Reviewed by Charlotte Berry ▸Read Review


TrollskogenJohn Holmvall, Trollskogen (The Troll Forest)

Rabén & Sjögren, 2015.

Reviewed by Charlotte Berry ▸Read Review


Huset mittemotAlex Haridi, Huset mittemot (The House Across the Street)

Bonnier Carlsen, 2015.

Reviewed by Nichola Smalley ▸Read Review


FågelbarnChristin Ljungqvist, Fågelbarn (Bird Children)

Gilla Böcker, 2013.

Reviewed by Mia Österlund ▸Read Review


KorpmåneTherese Henriksson, Korpmåne (Raven Moon)

Opal, 2015.

Reviewed by B J Epstein ▸Read Review


SundTove Folkesson, Sund (Sound)

Weyer förlag, 2015.

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review


IndianlekarFelicia Stenroth, Indianlekar (Indian Games)

Norstedts, 2015.

Reviewed by Mia Österlund ▸Read Review


Spådomen: en flickas memoarerAgneta Pleijel, Spådomen: en flickas memoarer (The Prophecy: Memoirs of a Girl)

Norstedts, 2015.

Reviewed by Sarah Death ▸Read Review


Alkemistens DotterCarl-Michael Edenborg, Alkemistens Dotter (The Alchemist's Daughter)

Natur och kultur, 2014.

Reviewed by Fiona Graham ▸Read Review


BonsaikattViktor Johansson, Bonsaikatt (Bonsai Cat)

Modernista, 2015.

Reviewed by Martin Murrell ▸Read Review


Herr Isakowitz skattDanny Wattin, Herr Isakowitz skatt (Herr Isakowitz's Treasure)

Piratförlaget, 2014.

Reviewed by Željka Černok ▸Read Review


Att föda ett barnKristina Sandberg, Att föda ett barn (Giving Birth)

Norstedts, 2010.

Reviewed by Deborah Bragan-Turner ▸Read Review


Sörja för de sinaKristina Sandberg, Sörja för de sina (Care for One's Own)

Norstedts, 2012.

Reviewed by Deborah Bragan-Turner ▸Read Review


Liv till varje prisKristina Sandberg, Liv till varje pris (Life at Any Price)

Norstedts, 2014.

Reviewed by Deborah Bragan-Turner ▸Read Review


Låt mig ta din handTove Alsterdal, Låt mig ta din hand (Let Me Take Your Hand)

Lind & Co, 2015.

Reviewed by Darcy Hurford ▸Read Review


FörrädareJimmy Lindgren and Peter Lindmark, Förrädare (Traitors)

Lind & Co, 2015.

Reviewed by Ian Giles ▸Read Review


Sokrates dödNiklas Åkesson, Sokrates död (Socrates' Death)

CL(P) Works, 2014.

Reviewed by Nichola Smalley ▸Read Review


Vi bara lyder: en berättelse om ArbetsförmedlingenRoland Paulsen, Vi bara lyder: en berättelse om Arbetsförmedlingen (We Just Do What We're Told: A Story About the Job Centre Organisation)

Bokförlaget Atlas, 2015.

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review


Putins folk: Ryssland tysta majoritetKalle Kniivilä, Putins folk: Ryssland tysta majoritet (Putin's People: Russia's Silent Majority)

Atlas, 2014.

Reviewed by Fiona Graham ▸Read Review


Krim tillhör oss: imperiets återkomstKalle Kniivilä, Krim tillhör oss: imperiets återkomst (The Crimea is Ours: the Empire Returns)

Atlas, 2015.

Reviewed by Fiona Graham ▸Read Review


Om skrivandets sinneElisabeth Rynell, Om skrivandets sinne (The Sensibility of Writing)

Bonniers, 2013.

Reviewed by Irene Scobbie ▸Read Review


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