While for years the Moomins and Pippi Longstocking have been the most influential literary exports out of Scandinavia, since the runaway success of the Nordic noir series The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, publishers’ eyes have been on literature from the north. And several recent and forthcoming titles feature the work of creators across the Nordic nations, going beyond YA noirs, and branching into middle grade and picture books.
The Snow Queen and
The Fir Tree
By Hans Christian Andersen, trans. by Jean Hersholt, illus. by Sanna Annukka (Random House/Ten Speed, Oct. 2016, hardcover, $16, 978-0-399-57850-2).
By Hans Christian Andersen, trans. by Jean Hersholt, illus. by Sanna Annukka (Random House/Ten Speed, Oct. 2016, hardcover, $16, 978-0-399-57848-9).
These two volumes – reprints of Andersen’s classic fairy tales – are published in new hardcover editions featuring illustrations by Finnish illustrator Annukka. Annukka has designed for Marimekko previously, and incorporates Finnish mythological symbols into her distinctive screenprint illustrations.
Marianne Kaurin, trans. from the Norwegian by Rosie Hedger (Scholastic/Levine, Jan. 2017, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-545-88965-0).
Kaurin’s historical YA novel traces the disintegration of Jewish life in Oslo, Norway, during the last months of 1942. While focusing on dreamy-eyed 15-year-old Ilse Stern and her crush on neighbor Hermann Rod, the story unfolds from several points of view, including those of Hermann and a non-Jewish neighbor who is unwillingly thrust into an important role in the removal of Jews from the city.
As Red as Blood
Salla Simukka, trans. from the Finnish by Owen F. Witesman (Crown, Jan. 2017, hardcover, $17.99, 978-1-5247-1341-6).
Finnish author Simukka creates a tough, self-sufficient heroine in 17-year-old Lumikki Andersson in this first book in her Snow White Trilogy. Film rights have been bought by L.A. production company Zero Gravity. Crown will publish the rest of Simukka’s trilogy, and the author also has a forthcoming middle grade stand-alone novel, which Crown's Phoebe Yeh, who acquired the trilogy, has also bought.
Red Abbey Chronicles Book 1
Maria Turtschaninoff, trans. from the Swedish by A.A. Prime. (Abrams/Amulet, Jan. 2017, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-4197-2269-1).
Turtschaninoff has drawn considerable praise throughout Scandinavia on the eve of her U.S. debut: she is the two-time winner of the Society of Swedish Literature Prize, a nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and this first novel of her Red Abbey Chronicles trilogy took the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2014, the top honor for young readers’ literature in Finland. The book takes place inside the ancient Red Abbey on the island of Menos, where women and girls are shielded from abuse, rescued from poverty, and taught the necessary skills to improve their homelands, when two girls from the abbey must face the outside world. Fantasy and magic blend in this feminist work; film rights for the trilogy have been purchased.
The Murderer’s Ape
Jakob Wegelius, trans. from the Swedish by Peter Graves. (Delacorte, Jan. 2017, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-101-93175-2).
In this contemporary middle grade novel, Sally Jones is a top-notch engineer, excels at chess, and exceeds expectations at every turn – the fact that she is a gorilla may be the least interesting thing about her. The book includes black-and-white spot illustrations.