A literary Genre. Black Novels.
When we speak of Scandinavian crime novels, probably everyone thinks of the famous millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. However, if we are looking for references, even the deceased, Swedish author Henning Mankell, creator of the novel series about the detective Kurt Wallander, could emerge. In addition, the not that well-known, but certainly very interesting authors Sjöwall and Wahlöö from Sweden are be mentioned, who invented a series of novels with the Inspector Martin Beck in between 1965-1975. It is interesting that these novels were published internationally and that many publishers reinvested and published these a few years ago.
But what is is that draws so much attention to these kinds of novels? Probably, the reason is the clash between the perception of the people from the Nordic countries with examples of the welfare state and scenes of violence, of which the authors report.
And it is the case that the authors disclose an unknown face from these countries that goes beyond our imagination. Social problems such as racism, poverty, alcoholism, etc., which never were connected to the North, are stereotypically mirrored in the novels, get broken and illustrated in a powerful way.
There are some critical voices claiming this type of novel is overvalued. It is true that much of what has been translated is of varying quality. But the amount of the already internationally translated authors such as those already mentioned above or the Icelander Arnaldur Indrioason and the Norwegian Jo Nesbo leave, are of high quality. In any case it is worth reading the novels, since we will surely break the systems.
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