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Scandinavian Crime Fiction

Stieg Larsson’s darkly violent but irresistibly absorbing and wildly popular crime novels have brought new attention to the work of Nordic crime writers, and Scandinavian Crime Fiction is the first English-language study of the genre as practiced in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Attending to the work of such popular authors as Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum, and Anne Holt—as well as Larsson—Scandinavian Crime Fictionexplores every aspect of crime writing in the region, from history to recurrent themes to the ways these books have been adapted for television. Many readers will be familiar with Mankell’s “Wallander” series and movies based on Staalesen novels, which are both popular on PBS. 

194 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2011

International Crime Fictions

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

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“This volume consists of a series of clear-cut analyses, examining prevalent notions in Scandinavian crime fiction. The contributors participate admirably in defining the concept of ‘Scandinavian’ by focusing on historical and cultural aspects of proximity and differences within the Scandinavian region. The history and present transformations of Scandinavian police procedurals are mapped, the tendency to harsh social criticism is scrutinized, and widespread attitudes to gender and cultural politics are highlighted and discussed. Timely and highly informative, this anthology discusses why Scandinavian crime fiction has been so widely exported and which significant contributions in particular it has made to the popular genre. It will be a landmark text in the study of Scandinavian crime fiction and its social significance.”

Gunhild Agger, Aalborg University, Denmark

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
Introduction: Contemporary Scandinavian Crime Fiction
      Paula Arvas and Andrew Nestingen

Part I: Revisions of the Socially Critical Genre Tradition
1. Dirty Harry in the Swedish Welfare State
      Michael Tapper
2. The Well-Adjusted Cops of the New Millennium: Neo-Romantic Tendencies in the Swedish Police Procedural
      Kerstin Bergman
3. Meaningless Icelanders: Icelandic Crime Fiction and Nationality
      Katrin Jakobsdóttir
4. Digging into the Secrets of the Past: Rewriting History in the Modern Scandinavian Police Procedural
     Karsten Wind Meyhoff
Part II: Questions of Place
5. The Place of Pessimism in Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander Series
      Shane McCorristine
6. Gender and Geography in Contemporary Scandinavian Television Crime Fiction
      Karen Klitgaard Povlsen
7. Straight Queers: Anne Holt’s Transnational Lesbian Detective Fiction
      Ellen Rees
8. Next to the Final Frontier: Russians in Contemporary Finnish and Scandinavian Crime Fiction
      Paula Arvas
Part III: Politics of Representation
9. Swedish Queens of Crime: the Art of Self-Promotion and the Notion of Feminine Agency—Liza Marklund and Camilla Läckberg
      Sara Kärrholm
10. High Crime in Contemporary Scandinavian Literature—the Case of Peter Høeg’s Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow
      Magnus Persson
11. Håkan Nesser and the Third Way: of Loneliness, Alibis, and Collateral Guilt
      Sylvia Söderlind
12. Unnecessary Officers: Realism, Melodrama and Scandinavian Crime Fiction in Transition
      Andrew Nestingen


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