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Grand News # September II, 2011


Grand Agency presents news from Scandinavia


Peter Stjernström – The Best Book in the World (Kalla Kulor Förlag)

Peter Stjernström is back with his third novel and as always the reader must prepare for a fast ride during which one has to think thoroughly. Two authors crack a brilliant idea at the same time. They are going to write a book that has everything and that can get into the top lists in all categories: thriller, cook book, self help, and so on. If successful, it will sell like hot cakes and is going to top bestseller lists. Such a book will bring money, fame and immortality. But only to one of them. The one who is first. A crazy and exciting game picks up in which both the authors and the publishers are forced to new and questionable working methods in order to reach their goals. On the surface The Best Book In The World is about two authors competing about a book project. But as usual, a story by Peter Stjernström holds many perspectives. This is a fast paced and entertaining novel about hubris and bestsellerism which shows what can happen when you try to take a really big bite. Read more.


Elisabeth Åsbrink – And in Wienerwald the Trees Still Remain (Natur & Kultur)

This autumn’s most acclaimed book in Sweden. And by the critic’s the highest praised. Elisabeth Åsbrink’s And In Wienerwald The Trees Still Remain is a deeply touching story that sheds new light on the blind spots in European history. And it makes you pay attention to how racism and hostility towards immigrants can camouflage itself to something rational and human under the name of labor and refugee policies. The book's premise is a letter collection of five hundred letters. Theyare written by the parents of the Jewish boy Otto Ullman, who in order to be saved from Nazi persecution and threats, in 1939 was sent to Sweden and freedom. Otto comes to the dark forests of Småland, where he works as a farmhand. When he is 17 he comes to landlord Kamprad, and becomes best friends with the son Ingvar. Despite some hesitation the Nazi friendly family takes the Jewish refugee in and a friendship developes. Eventually Otto becomes one of the first employees of Ingvar's company IKEA. Critics have described the book as a masterpiece and we cannot but agree. This is an important book, read more aboutit here.


Hans-Olov Öberg – Oh, Taste And See (Kalla Kulor Förlag)

Finally a crime novel that throws the reader right back to the seventies. Jimmy Magnusson and his friend Elias Fagervik are going to rehearsal with the boy choir when Jimmy remembers something he has to fix. Eleven hours later the boy is found brutally murdered on the stairs to the loft of the Cathedral. Does someone really have reason to kill a young choire boy or is this the act of a madman? The young police inspector Benny Modigh, as famous for his sharp intuition as for his weakness for synth music, ends up in the in the center of the investigation. He gets good help from the former war correspondent Annelie Free. There are many threads to follow and the answers to the questions are as unexpected as painful and they remind us about humanity’s limitless ability to commit evil actions. Oh, Taste and See is the first stand alone title in the trilogy about Elias Fagervik and Benny Modigh. The series spans over three decades and thanks to Hans-Olov Öberg’s rapid style we have three fast paced and suspenseful stories ahead of us. We must warn the audience for stretch reading! Read more about it.


Recent international releases

Denmark: Sara B. Elfgren och Mats Strandberg – The Circle

Finland: Åsa Lantz - Whatever Happened To That Sweet Little Girl

Germany: Varg Gyllander – Only Important People Die

Italy: Tove Alsterdal – Women On The Beach

Italy: Åsa Lantz – Whatever Happened To That Sweet Little Girl

Italy: Anna Jansson – The Speechless God

Russia: Inger Frimansson – Good Night My Darling and Shadow In The Water

Russia: Kajsa Ingemarsson – Yesterday’s News

Spain: Anna Jansson – The Speechless God

Spain: Inger Wolf – Frost and Ashes


Word from the agent


Sweden’s biggest book party, Bok & Bibliotek, is closing in and the whole industry is preparing. The authors get ready to meet their readers and Grand Agency is looking forward to seeing you publishers from all over the world. But everyone who should be at the fair is not able to come. Friday, September 23rd, it’s ten years since the Eritrean Swedish journalist and author Dawit Isaak was arrested by Eritrean police and put in jail without trial. In order to draw attention to and to protest against the imprisonment of their colleague, a number of organizations together with the Nobel Price winner Herta Müller will participate in a manifestation and make a joint petition. If you are able to participate, do so. And above all, authors and publishers, keep using the fundamental rights and freedom to write and publish books. Amuse and worry, entertain and protest, be smooth or uncomfortable. The world needs it. Spread the word!


See you in the crowd in Gothenburg.


/Lena Stjernström and Grand Agency


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