Mesmerising Estonian novel

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Norvik Press is proud to announce the upcoming publication of the English-language version of Ilmar Taska’s Pobeda 1946. This Estonian novel received critical acclaim when it was first published last year. It has already been translated into Finnish, German and Latvian, and Lithuanian and Danish versions are forthcoming. Norvik Press will release Christopher Moseley’s English-language translation, titled Pobeda 1946 – A Car Called Victory, in early spring 2018. Both Norvik Press and the translator have been awarded grants from the TRADUCTA programme, which supports high-quality translations of Estonian works.

Pobeda 1946 is a historical narrative set in Estonia under Soviet occupation. Secrets and mystery dominate – reflecting the covert behaviour of an oppressed people. At the centre of the story there is a young boy, too young to grasp all the things happening in the adult world around him, who unwittingly reveals a family secret to the kind of person in whom you should never confide – a government agent.

Ilmar Taska, the author of Pobeda 1946, is a well-known name in Estonia, but he has also been active beyond the borders of his own country, working in film, theatre and television in the UK and Sweden, amongst others. In addition to producing, directing and writing for the screen, Taska has also ventured into short-story writing in recent years. In 2014, Taska’s novella ‘Pobeda’ won the Estonian literary prize ‘Looming’ in the short-story category, and the following year, his story ‘Apartment to Let’, was included in the prestigious anthology Best European Fiction 2016, edited by Nathaniel Davis. Pobeda 1946 is Taska’s debut novel.

Norvik Press is delighted to introduce Taska’s novel to an English-language audience, especially as the London Book Fair 2018 will be shining a spotlight on Baltic literature. We at Norvik Press are mesmerised by Taska’s book, and will be excited and intrigued to see what other treasures the Baltic region has to offer.

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Lagerlöf’s Mårbacka longlisted

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9781909408296We are happy to announce that Mårbacka has been longlisted for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation. This novel by Selma Lagerlöf (originally published in 1922) was translated by Sarah Death and published by Norvik Press in 2016. We are thrilled that the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation is shedding light on more female voices, as the new prize aims to increase the translations of female international authors and thus make them more accessible to a British and Irish readership.

If you have not read Mårbacka, it is the story of Lagerlöf’s childhood at their family farm Mårbacka in Värmland. It is a warm and personal pseudo-autobiography; Lagerlöf writes about true stories from her upbringing, but she does so with her recognisable artistic pen. The novel is written in a naïve style as the story unfolds through a young Selma. Nonetheless, it contains a dual complexity because the wiser, more grown-up author lets the reader be aware of things that the child Selma herself cannot know. As Sarah Death puts it in her afterword: ‘In many ways [Lagerlöf’s] portrayal of her childhood in Mårbacka is bathed in a rosy glow, but she hints at the shadows (…).’ This proved to be a recipe for success, and when it was first published, Mårbacka won the heart of the reading audience like none of Lagerlöf’s work had done before.

We at Norvik Press are very happy that Lagerlöf is still a relevant voice. We love her authorship and have published many translations of her works. Our forthcoming titles in the series are The Emperor of Portugallia [Kejsarn av Portugallien] and Banished [Bannlyst].

Read an extract from Mårbacka here.

Buy Mårbacka here.

Women in Translation month

August is Women in Translation month and Norvik Press is celebrating the female authors and translators whose work we have had the honour of publishing over the years. These women have taken us soaring through the air on back of a goose, weaving the bustling streets of nineteenth-century Constantinople and posing for a sculpture in Riga during the Soviet occupation. The writing of Norvik women ranges across three centuries from Camilla Collett’s District Governor’s Daughters, first published in 1855, to Vigdis Hjorth’s A House in Norway, first published 2014.

We are especially especially pleased that two female authors whose work Norvik Press has published, Vigdis Hjorth and Kirsten Thorup, have been nominated for this year’s Nordic Council Literature Prize. Three Norvik titles are also in competition for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.

To celebrate the work of women in translation Norvik is offering blog readers a 10% discount on works by female authors published by Norvik on orders submitted by the end of September 2017. Browse our back catalogue here and email your order directly to norvik.press@ucl.ac.uk, quoting the discount code WOMEN IN TRANSLATION. Please note that this offer only applies to orders emailed directly to Norvik, and cannot be used for purchases in bookshops or online.

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Photo credits: Photo of Viivi Luik by Ave Maria Mõistlik (2011); photo of Helene Uri by Christian Elgvin; photo of Suzanne Brøgger by Isak Hoffmeyer (2010); photo of Hanne Marie Svendsen by Morten Juhl (2012)

New edition of The District Governor’s Daughters

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District Governor's Daughters

Cover of The District Governor’s Daughters

Kirsten Seaver first translated Camilla Collett’s Norwegian classic Amtmandens Døttre (1854-55) for Norvik Press in 1992, and we are delighted to publish a new edition, twenty-five years on. Please click here for more information on Camilla Collett and The District Governor’s Daughters, and to download an extract from the translation.

Click here to purchase the novel from The Book Depository.

Red Magazine’s top ten list of Scandinavian must-reads

Author Hélene Fermont drew our attention to her article in Red magazine about Scandinavian books beyond crime fiction.

people of hemso coverHélene’s list includes August Strindberg’s novel of 1887, The People of Hemsö, translated by Peter Graves and published by Norvik Press in 2012. This novel is a tragicomic story of lust, love and death among the fishermen and farmers of the island landscapes of the Stockholm Archipelago. As Hélene puts it, in this novel, ‘Strindberg explores exactly what happens when you marry for money’.

Also on Hélene’s list is Selma Lagerlöf’s Gösta Berling’s Saga, which is not one of Norvik’s publications, but we have published many of Lagerlöf’s other works in our series Lagerlöf in English. The same applies to Hjalmar Söderberg, who also made Hélene’s top ten.

We were also delighted to see Karin Boye listed. We plan to publish another novel by Karin Boye next year, in a translation by Amanda Doxtater: Kris, or Crisis.

Many thanks, Hélene! What a thought-provoking list.

Nordic crime fiction event

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On Monday 22 May, our friends at UCL’s Nordic Noir Book Club are holding a book launch and panel discussion featuring Scandinavian crime fiction authors Jorn Lier Horst (Norway), Lone Theils (Denmark) and Stefan Ahnhem (Sweden). The authors will be presenting their new and forthcoming work, and host Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen (UCL Scandinavian Studies) will be celebrating the launch of his book Scandinavian Crime Fiction, recently published by Bloomsbury.

A selection of Norvik Press books will be available for sale at the event (cash or card). Our crime fiction titles Murder in the Dark (Dan Turèll, Denmark, trans. Mark Mussari) and Walpurgis Tide (Jógvan Isaksen, Faroes, trans. John Keithsson) will be available at the special price of £10. The play The Contract Killer (Benny Andersen, Denmark, trans. Paul Russell Garrett) will be on sale at £5 – while stocks last.

The venue is Juju’s Bar & Stage in E1, and tickets are only £5. More details can be found on the EventBrite ticket booking page: click here to book via EventBrite.

We hope to see you at Juju’s on 22 May!

 

Two Norvik authors nominated for Nordic Council Literature Prize

We are delighted that two authors whose work has been published by Norvik Press have been nominated for this year’s Nordic Council Literature Prize.

Norwegian author Vigdis Hjorth has been nominated for her novel Arv og miljø (Inheritance and Environment, Cappelen Damm, 2016). A House in Norway, Charlotte Barslund’s translation of Vigdis Hjorth’s Et norsk hus, was launched this week by Norvik Press.

One of this year’s Danish nominees is Kirsten Thorup, for her latest novel Erindring om kærligheden (Remembrance of Love, Gyldendal, 2016). Kirsten Thorup’s Tilfældets Gud was translated as The God of Chance by Janet Garton, and published by Norvik Press in 2013. Listen to Helen Cross discussing The God of Chance on BBC Radio 4’s ‘A Good Read’.

Warmest congratulations to Vigdis Hjorth and Kirsten Thorup!

Browse the full list of nominees on the Nordic Council’s website.