james-sargent
15th November 2011

Manchester Literature Festival: Crime in a Cold Climate

Opening proceedings at the second week of the festival was a highly alluring premise, not just on account of the fascinatingly depraved subject material, but also as an opportunity to gain insight into a sweeping craze of modern literature – an evening with three prolific authors of Nordic crime fiction. With unprecedented influence, now reaching into American cinema (The […]
Manchester Literature Festival: Crime in a Cold Climate

Opening proceedings at the second week of the festival was a highly alluring premise, not just on account of the fascinatingly depraved subject material, but also as an opportunity to gain insight into a sweeping craze of modern literature – an evening with three prolific authors of Nordic crime fiction. With unprecedented influence, now reaching into American cinema (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and television (The Killing), it’s no surprise that a record number of middle-aged crime enthusiasts and literature students escaped the Manchester downpour to pack out The Engine House.

Those who braved the blustery trip were rewarded with an honest, humourous and evocative examination of the genre, its stake in society and its fair share of controversy, with wonderful guidance from compere Barry Forshaw. Residing were two Norwegian authors; hotshot Thomas Enger, with his first book Burned published to critical acclaim, and veteran KO Dahl, with four of his grand catalogue now published in English, alongside Icelandic bestseller Yrsa Sigurdardottir whose work is translated in over thirty countries.

Contrary to expectation, the three aren’t indebted to the work of genre establishers such as Henning Mankell. Rather, they draw upon themselves to create striking characters; Enger states that his greatest fear is losing his children, and so for Burned’s protagonist fear becomes reality. Refreshingly, politics do not pervade their work; they seek to entertain and on occasion portray Nordic society, but feel no pressure to do so. Sigurdardottir is keen to reference the expectation of female writers to shy away from gratuity, a sexist sentiment that masks the trio’s desire to favour characterisation and the craft of a thrilling narrative. Despite further reservations in regards to the faltering economy and a potentially fickle international audience, it is bracing to see a genre flourish under passionate writers remaining true to themselves.


More Coverage

We Move: The debut collection by former Mancunion Books Editor Gurnaik Johal

We Move: The debut collection by former Mancunion Books Editor Gurnaik Johal

We spoke to Gurnaik Johal about his new short story collection We Move and his experience as a student at The University of Manchester
Don’t judge a ‘blook’ by its cover

Don’t judge a ‘blook’ by its cover

What links a viral story about German tax on period products and an exploding gift?
Review: People Person by Candice Carty-Williams

Review: People Person by Candice Carty-Williams

Does People Person live up to Candice Carty-Williams’ debut bestseller Queenie?
Blind date with a book: a marketing ploy?

Blind date with a book: a marketing ploy?

Blind date with a book: a marketing ploy or a way to branch out of your reading comfort zone? And can you guess Blackwell’s mystery book from a sentence?

Copyright © The Mancunion
Powered By Spotlight Studios

0161 275 2930  University of Manchester’s Students’ Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap