2016:1 Issue

Editorial2016:1 Issue

Anyone attending a book fair or book festival in the last twelve months will have noticed the growing interest in and public discussion of literary translation. There has been a clear focus on issues of language and identity, on reading translated texts and on considering re-translation of classics. In a wide variety of settings translators, writers and readers have gathered to explore some of the creative and linguistic challenges involved in translation, and in many public situations translators themselves have become more prominent.

Such visibility has not always been the case – translators have not generally been found centre stage. They have mostly been a name on a title page, sometimes indeed not even that (though the Twitter #namethetranslator campaign launched in 2013 by Helen Wang and others has done much to raise awareness). In this issue we turn the spotlight on one translator who truly stands out for his skill and mastery and has become one of the best-known translators of the last four decades. Laurie Thompson, editor of SBR for twenty years, who died in June 2015, will be remembered for his leading role in the promotion of Swedish literature in the English-speaking world, not forgetting, of course, the significant part he played in introducing British readers to Scandicrime and the ensuing publishing boom. Here some of his friends and colleagues share their personal memories of the very modest man whose outstanding achievements we celebrate.

The translations we feature are extracts from exciting examples of new fiction. Ninni Holmqvist became an international success with a novel set in the future. In her latest novel she takes us back to the life – and sounds – of the 1960s. Gabriella Håkansson, who has been acclaimed as one of the most original voices in contemporary Swedish fiction, explores the world of 19th-century London in the second volume of her epic trilogy of historical adventure.

Our regular Bookshelf gives a vivid taste of the impressive range of material currently being published in Sweden, and once again we highlight some earlier books that really should not be missed.

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A Tribute to Laurie Thompson 1938-2015

Friends and colleagues pay tribute to Laurie Thompson, who died in June 2015.

Contributors: Tom Geddes, Christine Moore, Marlaine Delargy, Rachel Schröder, Charlotte Garbutt, Annika Lindskog, Catharina Grünbaum, Linda Schenck, Helen Sigeland, Terry Carlbom, Torsten Kälvemark, Irene Scobbie, Peter Graves, Kerstin Abukhanfusa, Rickard Fuchs, Philippe Bouquet, Håkan Nesser, Maria Rejt, Christopher MacLehose, Becky Toyne, Barry Forshaw, NigeI Smith, Ian Hinchliffe, Sarah Death

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Autumn

Translated by Laurie Thompson

Laurie Thompson did much to promote the works of Stig Dagerman in English, translating two of his novels and a collection of his poems and producing a PhD thesis and biography. Dagerman wrote the poem ‘Höst’ (Autumn) ten days before his death in 1954. It was read by Birgitta Thompson at Laurie’s funeral in Wales in June 2015.

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Books Translated from Swedish by Laurie Thompson

We present a bibliography of books translated from Swedish by Laurie Thompson. This chronological list excludes paperback or other reissues, shorter or unpublished translations, academic books and articles.

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from Just Like Starting Over

Introduced and translated by Marlaine Delargy

Marlaine Delargy presents her translation of an extract from Ninni Holmqvist's new novel Just Like Starting Over. The novel begins in 1980 when Pia-Lisa is twenty- two years old. Her father is dead, and it is time to clear out the family home. The memories come flooding back, and the reader follows Pia-Lisa’s story from 1963. Holmqvist's depiction of the era is particularly striking, as major world events from the assassination of John F. Kennedy to the murder of John Lennon impact on life in a small town in Sweden. As the title suggests, music plays an important part in Pia-Lisa’s story.

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from Temple of the Heretics

Translated by Fiona Graham

Kättarnas tempel is the second in an epic trilogy of historical novels by Gabriella Håkansson. Aldermanns arvinge (Aldermann’s Heir) was published in 2013 and was intended to be the first of two books set in 19th-century London. A third volume, Nya Londinium (New Londinium), is in progress. 

Fiona Graham presents her translation of an extract from the last part of the novel.


BOOKSHELF: REVIEWS, edited by Fiona Graham

Bli som folkStina Stoor, Bli som folk (Beasts and Other Stories)

Norstedts, 2015.

Reviewed by Nichola Smalley ▸Read Review


Att skjuta hästarKjell Eriksson, Att skjuta hästar (Shooting Horses)

Ordfront, 2015.

Reviewed by Eric Dickens ▸Read Review


Skyddsrummet LuxgatanJerker Virdborg, Skyddsrummet Luxgatan (The Lux Street Bunker)

Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2015.

Reviewed by Sarah Death ▸Read Review


Jag är en tjuvJonas Karlsson, Jag är en tjuv (I Am a Thief)

Wahlström & Widstrand, 2015.

Reviewed by Darcy Hurford ▸Read Review


Rörelsen: den andra platsenJohn Ajvide Lindqvist, Rörelsen: den andra platsen (I Always Find You)

Ordfront, 2015.

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review


Onda bokenKaj Korkea-Aho, Onda boken (The Evil Book)

Schildts & Söderströms, 2015.

Reviewed by Kate Lambert ▸Read Review


MasjaCarola Hansson, Masja (Masha)

Bonniers, 2015.

Reviewed by Irene Scobbie ▸Read Review


Världens sista kvällDimitris Alevras, Världens sista kväll (The Last Night of the World)

Norstedts, 2015.

Reviewed by Dominic Hinde ▸Read Review


MaryAris Fioretos, Mary

Norstedts, 2015.

Reviewed by Fiona Graham ▸Read Review


Ukraina - gränslandetAnna-Lena Laurén and Peter Lodenius, Ukraina - gränslandet (Ukraine: the Borderland)

Schildts & Söderströms, 2015.

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review


Den sårade divan: om psykets estetikKarin Johannisson, Den sårade divan: om psykets estetik (The Wounded Diva: On the Aesthetics of the Psyche)

Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2015.

Reviewed by Deborah Bragan-Turner ▸Read Review


Den stökliga psykiatrin: minnen, samtal, tankarP C Jersild, Den stökliga psykiatrin: minnen, samtal, tankar (Psychiatry in Disarray: Memories, Conversations, Reflections)

Fri Tanke, 2015.

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review


I varje ögonblick är vi fortfarande vid livTom Malmquist, I varje ögonblick är vi fortfarande vid liv (At Every Moment We Are Still Alive)

Natur & Kultur, 2015.

Reviewed by Janny Middelbeek-Oortgiesen ▸Read Review


Som eldSara Lövestam, Som eld (Like Fire)

Lilla Piratförlaget, 2015.

Reviewed by Agnes Broomé ▸Read Review


När hundarna kommerJessica Schiefauer, När hundarna kommer (When the Dogs Come)

Bonnier Carlsen, 2015.

Reviewed by Mia Österlund ▸Read Review


Doris drarPija Lindenbaum, Doris drar (Doris runs off)

Lilla Piratförlaget, 2015.

Reviewed by Fiona Graham ▸Read Review


Åka bussHenrik Wallnäs and Matilda Ruta, Åka buss (On the Bus)

Natur & Kultur, 2016.

Reviewed by Charlotte Berry ▸Read Review


Katitzi and Katitzi och SwingKatarina Taikon, Katitzi and Katitzi och Swing (Katitzi and Katitzi and Swing)

Natur & Kultur, 2015.

Reviewed by B J Epstein ▸Read Review


Den dag jag blir friLawen Mohtadi, Den dag jag blir fri (The Day I Am Free)

Natur & Kultur, 2012.

Reviewed by B J Epstein ▸Read Review


Jag är tyvärr död och kan inte komma till skolan idagSara Ohlsson, Jag är tyvärr död och kan inte komma till skolan idag (Unfortunately I'm Dead and Can't Come to School Today)

Gilla Böcker, 2011.

Reviewed by Ian Giles ▸Read Review


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