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2004:2 Issue
Swedish Book Review 2004:2 issue

The Swedish publishers’ catalogues arrive earlier every year – spring publicity hits the doormat in late November and Christmas stocking fillers are announced in the heat of the summer – but it is always exciting to see which new books are in store. This autumn there have been new titles from some big names, including Per Olov Enquist, Katarina Frostenson, Theodor Kallifatides, Mikael Niemi, and Agneta Pleijel. Sweden also now has not only a much-heralded new translation by Erik Andersson and Lotta Olsson of the first part of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings but also, perhaps surprisingly, its first ever translation (by Maria Ekman) of Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

The catalogues themselves have an increasingly stylish, design-conscious look, and the books are much more temptingly presented, sometimes with short translated extracts. This outbreak of professionalism and international self-awareness seems to be starting to bear fruit in Britain and the USA. Our listing of titles “Just Out and Coming Up” is proof of lively activity on the Swedish-to-English literary scene. There are already further titles scheduled for later in 2005; and our occasional extended bibliography of Swedish titles published in English in recent years proves that this liveliness is no mere flash in the pan.

We are also very pleased to publish a piece in this issue about the long-planned formation of a US counterpart to SELTA, the Swedish-English Literary Translators’ Association here in the United Kingdom. We wish STiNA (The Association of Swedish Translators in North America) success and growing influence in the coming years.

SBR perhaps does not dip into Sweden’s cornucopia of books for young people often enough, so we are glad to present part of a teen novel by Inger Edelfeldt. We also feature translations of work by two eminent but very different twentieth-century Swedish writers, Artur Lundkvist and Walter Ljungquist, who – much like Anne Brontë in Sweden – deserve wider recognition here. Jim Potts, in something of a companion piece to that by Maria Schottenius in SBR 2004:1, looks back on a career with the British Council concluding with a productive period in Sweden that culminated this autumn in a star-studded British presence at the Gothenburg Book Fair, where the literature of the British Isles was in focus.

Walter Ljungquistfrom A Door Stands Ajar (En dörr står på glänt)
Walter Ljungquist
Translated by Chris Dann and Bo Georgii-Hemming
Attempts to categorise the work of Ljungquist (1900–1974) tend to lead to the conclusion that like his characters he is an outsider. Readers enter a new world, often with elements of mystery. We present Chris Dann and Bo Georgii-Hemming's translation of Ljungquist's short story A Door Stands Ajar, as well as an introduction by Chris Dann.
Inger Edelfeldtfrom Shadows in the Mirror (Skuggorna i spegeln)
Inger Edelfeldt
Translated by Sarah Death
Swedish Book Review perhaps does not dip into Sweden's cornucopia of books for young people often enough, so we are glad to present part of a teen novel by Inger Edelfeldt. Edelfeldt's writing has always displayed a wicked sense of humour and proved itself enormously adaptable to a wide variety of styles. This is evident in the first person narrative of teenage angst and escape into parallel worlds that is her latest book for young adults. Sarah Death introduces Shadows in the Mirror and presents her translation of chapters 1, 3 and 6.
Artur LundkvistPoems and Prose Poetry
Artur Lundkvist
Translated by Henning Koch
A self-taught writer, Lundkvist allied himself with the forces of surrealism, primitivism and the Left, explaining that he wanted to write books "without frontiers" and "beyond the tyranny of genre". Henning Koch presents his translations of extracts from Apholyricisms, The Magpie, Seen in the Flowing Water, The Talking Tree and Malinga.
Jim PottsMutual Interests: Four Years as Director of the British Council Stockholm (and Cultural Attaché)
Jim Potts
Jim Potts, in something of a companion piece to that by Maria Schottenius in SBR 2004:1, looks back on a career with the British Council concluding with a productive period in Sweden that culminated this autumn in a star-studded British presence at the Gothenburg Book Fair, where the literature of the British Isles was in focus.
Sarek and KebnekaiseSarek and Kebnekaise
Claes Grundsten
Translated by Laurie Thompson
Sarek and Kebnekaise are groups of mountain peaks in the far north-west of Sweden. Laurie Thompson reviews Claes Grundsten's collection of "some of the best mountain photographs you will ever live to see", a "book to be cherished by those who have a Romantic attachment to wild mountain scenery, to wildernesses, to the awesome scenery of Arctic Sweden".
STiNAThe Birth of STiNA
Laura A. Wideburg
Laura A. Wideburg describes the long-planned formation of a US counterpart to SELTA, the Swedish-English Literary Translators' Association here in the UK. We wish STiNA (the Association of Swedish Translators in North America) success and growing influence in the coming years. STiNA website
Sweden in English BibliographySweden in English. Recent literary translations and books on Sweden
Compiled by Tom Geddes
Tom Geddes' regular bibliography of recent literary translations and books on Sweden.

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