Archive for August, 2011

Aftermath – or beginning

Monday, August 15th, 2011

It’s been a rollercoaster. I suppose all releases are like this, to some extent. The nailbiting wait. Finally replaced by the proof. Or whatever term one should use for reviews.
For me, for some reason this launch has felt more turbulent than any of the previous ones. The reviews have been all over the place. One common observation: many reviewers have used expressions like ‘reluctantly, I found myself drawn in’ or ‘I couldn’t help but surrender’. As if they have been fending off being emotionally affected by the story. I am not quite sure how to interpret this.

One huge relief has been the overall very positive comments about the language. This is the first time I have written in Swedish, and I have felt very vulnerable in this regard.

Also, it has been interesting to note that several reviews point to ‘Sonata for Miriam’ as my best book yet. At the time of that release, they certainly did not say so …
Having just finished reviewing a novel, I am amazed at how so many reviews – positive or negative, and not just those of my novel – are so flippant, so casually written. And often so very poorly researched. Some reviewers, it is obvious, have not even bothered to finish the book. Some seem to have set out with a perpared opinion and have sought only to have it justified. Proper analysis of story and language is rare. And many seem to have another agenda, not directly related to the novel, at heart. So, the more grateful I feel for the good ones – reviews that are well written and well considered. Whether positive or negative.

Many reviews can be read on the Svensk Bokhandel (Swedish Bookstores) homepage, in Swedish only:

Here are excerpts from two reviews:

Inger Dahlman, Norrköpings Tidningar

Det goda inom mig hör till de romaner som biter sig fast i lÀsarens medvetande. Personerna finns dÀr som levande gestalter som man gÀrna skulle vilja fortsÀtta att följa. Och aldrig förr har jag lÀst om en vuxen mÀnniska som, liksom Marianne, med sÄdan finkÀnslighet och ömhet nÀrmar sig ett skadskjutet barn. PÄ behörigt avstÄnd ger hon pojken, som erbjuder sig att bli bÄde hennes barn och hennes bror, utrymme för sin taggiga lilla varelse samtidigt som man fÄr följa hur han förlöser henne.

my translation

‘Det goda inom dig’ (‘The kindness of your nature) is one of those novels that stick in the mind of the reader. The charactes are there as real life people that you would like to continure to follow. And never before have I read about a human being who is able to approach a small damaged child with such sensitivity and gentleness as Marianne. From a safe distance she allows the the boy, who offers to be her child as well as her brother, appropriate space for his little thorny self, meanwhile allowing us to follow how he is able to release her.


Magnus Eriksson, Svenska Dagbladet

‘Sina tidigare böcker skrev Linda Olsson pĂ„ engelska, den hĂ€r gĂ„ngen har hon skrivit parallellt pĂ„ svenska och engelska. Men uttrycksformen blir densamma, ett utmejslat sprĂ„k dĂ€r varje kĂ€nslodetalj och nyans ringas in i formuleringar som strĂ€var efter precision och otvetydighet.

Det Àr romanens centrala linjer. Sedan vÀver Linda Olsson in ytterligare dramatiska och traumatiska brÀnnpunkter som för att förstÀrka tematiken, skeenden som ocksÄ förstÀrker den skenbara determinism som kvinnan till slut övervinner.

Det Ă€r konsekvent genomfört, och Linda Olsson skapar lyhört viss trovĂ€rdighet i den psykologiska uppbyggnaden.’

my translation:

‘Her previous books Linda Olsson wrote in English, this time she has written simultaneously in English and Swedish. But the form of expression remains the same, a chiselled language where every emtional detail and nuance is captured in formulations that strive for precision and clarity.

These are the main story lines of the novel. Then Linda Olsson weaves in further dramatic and traumatic foci in order to reinforce the theme, passages that also reinforce the determinism that the woman is eventually able to conquer.
It is consistently carried out, and with sensitivity Linda Olsson creates credibility in the psychological construction.

All this said, ‘Det goda inom dig’ was among the ten best selling hard back novels last week!