According to my informant, someone who shall remain anonymous, asked Ian Rankin if the reason his early books have not been translated into Swedish is because they were so bad it wasn’t worth the effort. I believe Ian’s reply was reasonably polite. Anon then suggested it didn’t matter because Swedes only want trashy crime to read on the beach.
I’m afraid this secondhand information about an author event in late November is really very late. How I have nagged my informant! Finally nailed him down before dinner last night.
It seems Edinburgh didn’t receive just a Christmas tree from Norway, but crime writer Gunnar Staalesen came over for a chat with his colleague Ian Rankin. It was organised jointly by the university and the Norwegian consulate. And the people with the tree.
Gunnar spoke to students at the university in the morning, before a public event at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in the evening. Jenny Brown moderated and I gather that Gunnar’s translator Don Bartlett was there as well. Don translates from Norwegian despite not speaking the language, and he can finish a book in just a few months.
Since I can’t compete with this very excellent piece in The Scotsman, I won’t try. For facts about Gunnar and his Bergen detective Varg Veum, who is a sort of Norwegian Philip Marlowe-Lew Archer-Sam Spade type, you can pop over and read the interview.
I understand that wherever Gunnar goes in Bergen he is stopped by people wanting him to commit murder in their street. Must be their Viking genes.
And I do wonder if he’s hinting at doing away with his ‘Wolf’ detective, because he’s too old. Varg Veum, not Gunnar Staalesen.
Ian Rankin can always murder a Nordic citizen next time, if he feels like it. Otherwise I believe a good time was had by all.