At the Fans of Scandinavian Crime Novels Facebook group, some “missing Perssons” were identified – writers who haven’t yet been translated, but would be of interest to an English language audience. Then two more names popped up when I blogged about it. So I thought we should start a list. Know of a crime writer from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden whose work should be translated? Leave a comment here.
Dan Turell – Denmark – “A larger than life Danish writer who died in 1993 at the age of 47. He wrote ten crime stories with great style, wit and warmth.” Don Bartlett, translator of Jo Nesbo and others, thinks he should be available in English. If Don says so, I agree wholeheartedly. (See the comments for some more information about this writer from Stieg Larsson’s translator – who is also translator of many other Scandinavian works.)
Leif G. W. Persson – Sweden – Wikipedia says Doubleday (UK and Commonwealth) and Knopf (US) hold rights, but I can’t find any published translations. (See the interesting background information at Petrona from a well-known translator.) Update: a first of his novels, translated by Paul Norlen, has been published. Thank you, Stieg Larsson (though these two writers are probably polar opposites – but suddenly publishing 500-page translations from Swedish seems like a good idea.)
Unni Lindell – Norway
Arne Dahl – Sweden – Pen name of Jan Arnald; US rights are held by Pantheon and publication may be forthcoming – ? He won the Deutsche Krimi Pries in 2005. (Updated in the comments – Tiina Nunnally’s translation of Misterioso is finished; we just aren’t sure when we will get to see it. Another update – February 2011! Thanks, Reg. And yet another update – finally published in July 2011. And very good it is, too.)
Matti Rönkä – Finland – won the 2007 Glass Key award (the highest honor for crime fiction in Scandinavia) and the Deutsche Krimi Preis in 2008. Come on publishers, we need more Finnish translations!
Victor Arnar Ingolfsson – Iceland – has twice been the Icelandic nominee for the Glass Key award. Update: One of his books, The Flatey Enigma, has been released in 2012 by Amazon Crossing.
Liza Marklund – four of her books have been translated, but more recent ones have not had English rights sold, so far as I can tell from the Salomonsson Agency’s site. (Update: thanks to being included in the James Patterson Inc. franchise, a UK publisher has brought out Red Wolf, the fifth in the Annika Bengtzon series in October 2010. It and further Bengtzon adventures have now been released in the US, too).
Árni Thórarinsson – an Icelandic author of urban noir crime fiction who has become popular in France; according to an interview there, he does not exaggerate his portrait of Iceland and he does not own a cell phone. Chouette. Update: A first translation, though not the first in the series, has been published by Amazon’s Crossing series. Season of the Witch was released in 2012.
Emma Vall – the pseudonym of three women who write both an adult series about a reporter, Amanda Rönn, in northern Sweden; they also write a series for young readers.
Thomas Kanger – a reporter who writes a series about a young female cop, Elina Wiik.
Åsa Nilsonne -a psychiatrist who writes a series set in Stockholm featuring police officer Monika Pedersen.
Leena Lehtolainen – a Finnish author first published at age 12 (!) who writes a series about a policewoman, Maria Kallio. Update: Amazon will be publishing her works in English – though at this point I don’t know when. Update: it was supposed to be September, but now appears to be December 2012. Hurry up, Amazon!
Gretelise Holm – Danish author whose debut novel apparently won a Danish crime writers’ prize and has written a series featuring journalist Karin Sommer.
And check out Peter’s list of “emerging stars”: Danish writer Jussi Adler-Olsen, the writing duo Kaaberbøl & Friis, also from Denmark, Swedish writers Kristina Ohlsson and Camilla Ceder, and Øystein Wiig and Thomas Enger from Norway. Update: Ceder and Kaaberbøl & Friis have translations in the works. And Thomas Enger will be published by Faber. Update: Kristina Ohlsson’s first book, Unwanted, has been published in both the UK and US, with presumably more to follow. And Jussi Adler-Olsen has made it into English as well. So we’re really only awaiting Øystein Wiig.
Be sure to read the comments to learn about the Finnish writers Pentti Kirstilä, Sirpa Tabet, Harri Nykänen, Tapani Bagge, and Seppo Jokinen. And any other “wanted” writers who might turn up in the comments. Update: Harri Nykanen will soon have three books in translation; Seppo Jokinen will also have a book available for English readers in May, 2012. (Thank you, Ice Cold Crime.)
Other Finnish authors pointed out by Pekka Makkonen: Marko Kilpi, Tapani Bagge, Eppu Nuotio, Marko Hautala, and Mika Waltari.
Thanks to all who make suggestions. Keep ’em coming!