Archive for September, 2011

Progress

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

It is a slightly surreal experience to follow the development of your texts once they are out of your hands. All three of my novels now have a life of their own, a life that doesn’t involve me and one over which I have little or no influence.

Here are some of the latest developments, beginning with the first few steps of the new novel, The kindness of your nature/ Det goda inom dig, publishers and publication dates:

Albert Bonniers förlag, Sweden, August 2011,  No. 5 on the national chart
Penguin, New Zealand, October 2011
Penguin, Australia, October 2011
Penguin, USA, 2012
Gummerus, Finland, March 2012
Vigmostad & Björke, Norway, 2012
Forlaget Aronsen, Denmark, November 2011
BTB Verlag, Germany, 2012

 

Astrid & Veronika/ Let me sing you gentle songs:

L’Archipel, France, November 2011
Azbooka, Russia, 2012
Forlagi√į, Iceland, 2012

 

 

 

 

Time to begin again

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Swedish poet Lars Forssell is quoted to have said: ‘Once the reviews start to appear, you should already be well into your next project.’ I am sure that would be a good thing. I have never believed artists who claim not to read reviews, though. I do. And sometimes, it hurts. Especially, when the review is poorly written, based on a sloppy quick read, or prejudiced. Recently, the Swedish author H√•kan Nesser,¬†internationally renowned and with a large number of successful novels¬†under his belt, ¬†did the unspeakable: he responded to a bad review. His new novel, ‘Himmel √∂ver London’ (Sky over London) was given a poor review in Nerikes Allehanda, a regional daily paper. Nesser responded with an e-mail to the reviewer: ‘Is it I who can’t write, or you who can’t read?’ The reviewer responded by publishing Nesser’s e-mail on her blog, and the media circus started. Generally, Nesser seems to pulled the shortest straw. Perhaps it is a fight that the author can never win.

Why is it such a no-no to respond to a review? Personally, I have been tempted several times: when I have felt that a reviewer has not even finished the entire book, has misread parts or not picked up vital things in the text, when a review has simply been poorly written, or when it has been obvious that the reviewer has been biased. Perhaps it is time for a comparative study of literary critique? In these times when anybody can express opinions on anything on the internet, however ignorant or stupid, then perhaps one should be allowed to expect official publications to engage reviewers of a higher caliber. Reviewers with an awareness of the power that is vested in them.