Bonnier Rights is proud to announce that graphic novelist Joanna Rubin Dranger has been nominated for The Nordic Council Literature Prize 2023 for the documentary graphic novel REMEMBER US TO LIFE.
This is the first time a graphic novel has received the nomination for the prestigious award.
The jury’s motivation goes as follows:
When Joanna Rubin Dranger had just become an adult when her beloved aunt Susanne took her own life. In the genre-crossing volume REMEMBER US TO LIFE – a comprehensive and wide-ranging book not only in terms of weight and number of pages – Rubin Dranger portrays in both text and image how she many years later begins to unravel what led to her aunt’s suicide, and how she breaks the silence and the rewrites her upbringing, during which relatives had “disappeared” or were not mentioned at all. The threads lead to the persecution of Jews before and during the Second World War in Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Russia – but also to the anti-Semitism and isolation in the Scandinavian countries and the devastating consequences of the unwillingness to offer help. They lead straight into darkness, to concentration camps, murder and abuse. But also to the joy of meeting surviving relatives in the US and Israel. Rubin Dranger depicts in drawings and pictures how she is faced with painful news and unexpected questions. Some she manages to answer, others not. The way in which the reader also gets to experience and think about all these difficult angles is one of the book’s many strengths.
As the questions pile up, Joanna Rubin Dranger feels she must know the names of those who were murdered and what their lives were like. Writing and drawing the story of the disappeared becomes an act of resistance that approaches magical thinking: the Nazis wiped out these people and all their memories, Rubin Dranger evokes them from oblivion and tells about the lives they lived, lives that were taken from them.
Ultimately, the project is about heeding the words of the Jewish prayer and about remembering the dead back to life. When Rubin Dranger discovers that there was a little boy in the family who was murdered and whose name no one even remembers, she lets the reader along on a desperate search for answers. Finding his name is suddenly all that matters, and when she finally does, both she and the reader sense just how important memory is – that it reaches back, through the decades, and sets things right. So the book itself becomes a kind of meta-project – by giving us the names of the murdered and carefully drawing their photographs and portraits, the dead are recreated. History cannot be changed in retrospect, but the dead come to life when we remember them.
The style of the book is straight and simple, both in terms of text and images, but it never simplifies. The gaze rests steadily straight towards the darkness, both of history and the darkness that Dranger soon discovers within her own being. In this way, Rubin Dranger not only portrays the history of her family, but also its common great trauma – and how this trauma continues to affect generation after generation and is also present in herself.
REMEMBER US TO LIFE is an intelligent combination of text and image that allows these elements to reinforce each other. The effect is almost overwhelming. Photographs and other documents are mixed with Dranger’s own effective drawings, in a story that has an expression all its own. The book is a documentary novel, as it is called on the cover, but also so much more: a graphic novel, a historical story, a kind of writer’s diary and an autobiography. Both for her and for the reader, it will also be a test. What has happened comes so close that you cannot shy away from it.
Joanna Rubin Dranger, born in 1970, has published several notable graphic novels since her debut in 1999. She often mixes drastic humor with existential questions, and several times she directs her searchlight at contemporary narrow gender roles. Today she works as a professor at Konstfack in Stockholm. The fact that her book project is growing against a fund of increased, new-age anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Europe escapes neither the reader nor Rubin Dranger herself. She does not avoid the historical past. But not for the ongoing present either. REMEMBER US TO LIFE is a stylistically accomplished work and a courageous historical document. How we read the book is in many ways connected to several of the fateful questions of contemporary Europe today.
REMEMBER US TO LIFE was first published by Albert Bonnier Förlag in March 2022.
About the Nordic Council Literature Prize:
The Nordic Council Literature Prize has been awarded since 1962 and is given to a work of fiction written in one of the Nordic languages. This may be a novel, a play, or a collection of poems, short stories, or essays that are of a high literary and artistic quality. The prize is designed to generate interest in the literature and language of neighbouring countries, and in the Nordic cultural community.
We are proud to announce that the following books are finalists in the audiobook prize Storytel Awards 2023!
WARMING HANDS by Katarina Widholm (Albert Bonniers Förlag) in the Category Novel (Roman)
and BODIES AT WAR by Stina Wollter and Erik Hemmingsson (Bonnier Fakta) in the Category Non-Fiction (Fakta)
The winners will be presented on March 22nd.
Congratulatios to all! We keep fingers and toes crossed!
Bonnier Rights are proud to announce that Maria Adolfsson, author of the internationally acclaimed ‘DOGGERLAND’ series, is the winner of the Petrona Award 2022 for debut crime novel Fatal Isles.
The Petrona Award is a British literary award for Scandinavian crime fiction translated to English. The jury’s motivation goes as follows:
“This captivating winning novel is the first in a proposed trilogy featuring the beautifully flawed protagonist Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby, whose take on life and work make for a strong, down-to-earth and modern heroine in the relicts of a man’s world.
Set in the fictional yet completely credible location of Doggerland, this three-island archipelago in the North Sea reflects Scandinavian, North European and British heritages. Doggerland is shaped and influenced by its geographical position; the atmospheric setting, akin to the wind and history-swept Faroe and Shetland Islands, and Nordic climes, enhances the suspenseful and intriguing plot of a police procedural that combines detailed observations and thoughts on the human condition.
A brutal murder sets in motion an investigation into layers of hidden secrets and of societal attitudes, and the interaction between the superbly portrayed characters creates a thrilling tension and believable environment.”
Fatal Isles is the first book in the DOGGERLAND series, introducing willful main character Investigator Karen Eiken Hornby as well as the fictional islands of Doggerland, situated between Scandinavia and Great Britain.
Maria Adolfsson is published in English by Bonnier Books UK. Her books are translated by Agnes Broomé.
Previous winners of the Petrona Award include Mikael Niemi, Jorn Lier Horst & Malin Persson Giolito.
Patrik Svensson’s The Gospel of the Eels is the winner of the Taiwanese Open Book Award 2022 for Best Lifestyle & General Non-Fiction Title!
The Gospel of the Eels was first published in 2019 as Patrik Svensson’s debut, shedding light on the world’s most enigmatic fish. It became widely successful internationally and translation rights have been acquired for 38 languages to date.
Established in 1989 by China Times’s literary supplement, Open Book, this eponymous award is widely considered the most influential book award in Taiwan.
Each year, books in various genres receive this award, including fiction, non-fiction and children’s books.
Bonnier Rights is proud to share that Håkan Nesser has been awarded the Grand Master Diploma by the Swedish Crime Academy!
The award ceremony took place in Eskilstuna on Sunday, November 20th.
The Swedish Crime Academy is an association whose purpose is to promote detective fiction and nonfiction about the detective genre.
The Academy annually nominates the year’s best Swedish crime novel and the year’s best crime novel translated into Swedish. The latter award has previously been called The Martin Beck Award.
Bonnier Rights are proud to announce that Fatal Isles, part 1 in Maria Adolfsson’s beloved ‘Doggerland’ series, has been shortlisted for this year’s Petrona Award!
The Petrona Award is a British crime fiction award focused on crime and suspense novels from Scandinavia. The winner will be announced on December 6th.
Joanna Rubin Dranger is awarded the 2022 Swedish Academy of Comic Art’s Adamson statuette. The award is Sweden’s oldest award for graphic and comics, and is awarded to Swedish and international comic creators and illustrators. The award ceremony took place at the Gothenburg Book Fair.
The jury’s motivation goes as follows:
“For a versatile and long-standing artistry that originates in the humorous and the serious. With graphic art in physically small and large formats, we get to take part in quirky stories that twist and turn our reality, and depictions of reality’s pain points. Personal, honest and poignant!”
Previous award winners
Swedish: Joakim Pirinen and Liv Strömqvist
International: Art Spiegelman, Claire Bretechér and Marjane Satrapi
Joanna Rubin Dranger is a cartoonist, graphic novelist, and professor of illustration. She is also a frequent lecturer on topics about the power of images. Her comic novels Miss Terrified and Love and Miss Remarkable and Her Career have been loved by a large audience for their witty and gallows humor depictions of our living conditions. With her latest book, the animated documentary novel REMEMBER US TO LIFE, Joanna Rubin Dranger deepens and expands her authorship.
The Swedish Academy of Comic Art was founded in December 1965.
We are happy to announce that Netflix will premiere new series The Playlist on October 13th!
The series is based on the book SPOTIFY UNTOLD, written by journalists Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhuvud.
It is a behind-the-scenes exposé of how self-made prodigy Daniel Ek and his financial partner Martin Lorentzon would bet everything on the power of an idea, creating Sweden’s hottest start-up that would become the thorn in Apple’s side. Drawing on over seventy interviews, along with previously untapped sources, this is a David vs Goliath story about how strong convictions, unrelenting willpower, and big dreams can help small players take on the titans of tech.
The newly released trailer for the series can be viewed here.
Book rights for SPOTIFY UNTOLD have recently been acquired in 16 territories, including the US.
We are delighted and proud to announce that Kerstin Ekman has been awarded Norrland’s Literature Prize 2022 (Norrlands Litteraturpris 2022). The nomination reads:
‘In a seemingly straightforward and unassuming novel, a great existential depth is conveyed. Here is human impact on nature, not abstract analyses, or cries, but an acquired experience in everyday life.’
The monetary award is 10, 000 SEK.
The prize was instituted 1973 and was initially granted to a promising authorship from Norrland – the largest province in Sweden, but since a few years back it is given to the previous years best book with a strong connection to the region.
Our warmest congratulations to Kerstin Ekman on being awarded the The Society of the Nine Grand Prize 2022 (Samfundet De Nios Stora pris 2022). The nomination reads:
“For an authorship characterized by vivid sharpness, incomparable presence and magnificent humanism.”
The monetary award is 400, 000 SEK.
About The Society of the Nine
It is a Swedish literary society founded on 14 February 1913 in Stockholm by writer Lotten von Kraemer’s testamentary donation. The society has nine members who are elected for life. Its purpose is to promote Swedish literature, peace and women’s issues. It mainly presents a number of literary awards. The Society started as an alternative to the Swedish Academy and is often compared to its more noted cousin.