Andrzej Tichý’s PURITY (Renheten, Albert Bonniers förlag) is nominated to the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2021. This is the third time for Tichý to be nominated, after having been nominated previously for Fält (2008) and Kairos (2013).

The prize is awarded to a work of a ”high literary and artistic quality”, written in one of the Nordic languages. The nomination reads:

This is talent on a par with the likes of author Lars Norén, with a dark light reminiscent of Birgitta Trotzig’s ethical demands. With his clarity of experiential experience, linguistic presence, psychological introspection, and uncompromising integrity, Tichý’s work is among the sharpest literature of our time.”

To read the full nomination, please see below:

“In the short story collection Renheten (‘Purity’, not translated into English), he continues to show how certain human destinies inevitably err towards misfortune. The texts take the reader through cities and suburbs, apartments and streets. In “Performances”, we meet a war correspondent who, instead of documenting the depradations of the military, gets hung up on the idea of taking their own life and how privileged that act really is. In a flash, the reader finds themselves face to face with a skinhead on a bus, a thief caught red-handed, and someone who kills his childhood friend with a hammer after humiliating him for what seems an eternity.

Renheten is the collective echo of human voices whose lives and deaths challenge purity as a concept. This almost wearying address leaves the reader with a number of questions: Who is forced to clean and look after the dirt? Who can buy their way out of getting their hands dirty? Who is thought of as speaking purely?

Tichý is as much a master of depicting the misery of humanity as he is of depicting its presence. His dissatisfaction with dwelling in the dirt of realism is both interesting and impressive. By weaving social realism with suggestive currents of consciousness, Tichý instead elevates reality. Language and psyche merge. He skilfully manages to glide between different states of consciousness and both destabilises and exalts what is real or going on inside someone’s mind.

This is talent on a par with the likes of author Lars Norén, with a dark light reminiscent of Birgitta Trotzig’s ethical demands. With his clarity of experiential experience, linguistic presence, psychological introspection, and uncompromising integrity, Tichý’s work is among the sharpest literature of our time.”

 

Bonnier Rights are thrilled to let you know that Donia Saleh is nominated with her YA LEILA to Sweden’s most two prestigious award for debuts, Borås Debutantpris and Katapultpriset.
YA LEILA is a lyrical wonder which captures the zeitgeist, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should. Donia is definitely someone to watch 🌹
Interested in receiving material? Talk to our agent Madelene Andersson!

Late October. So here we are once again after a busy Gothenburg and Frankfurt Fair. Rapid 30-minute meetings with editors who looked slightly more ragged by the day, fizzy cava at 02.00 at ‘The Hof’, a hasty ink-blotted offer on a a5 college pad page dropped on your desk in the middle of a pitch to someone else, lukewarm coffee and tired feet. Or wait, what actually happened this year?

Well, it is safe to say that this year wasn’t really like previous fair seasons, for better and for worse. Instead we found ourselves in the middle of a historic moment: the digital Frankfurt Fair. The fair that has roots in the 15th century (before the printing press, no less) was this year rebranded to “FakeFurt 2020” by the industry’s nerdy wordsmiths. If you were wondering, they are quite abundant.

Unlike the chaotic situation in March, we had now all had time to learn how to use the funny backgrounds in Microsoft Teams, discover the quirkiness in that Google Meet works best in any other browser than Google Chrome, have the compulsory ethics discussion about Zoom, and were now experts. Instead of crammed, shiny white tables as far as the eye can see, we were invited into editors’ homes, offices and lives.

And what did we find out in our meetings? That this industry had it rough in March and April yes, but also that it is resilient, strong, optimistic, flexible and extremely kind-hearted. Whether it was the campaigns in France and Spain to save independent book shops, pushing publishing dates to 2021 to give debuts a fair shot at finding their audience, putting together a zoomlive interview in Israel in the middle of the second-wave lockdown, asking for an especially created uplifting letter from the author to readers in Taiwan or the happy response from an editor who despite just losing an auction that she’s glad that the book found a home in her language, this industry is doing everything it can to make sure it survives.

After so many years of everyone talking about the “death of the book”, I think it might leave us shocked and deeply humbled to see that in fact, despite the worst pandemic in a century, state-wide lockdowns and an economic backlash, the book is stronger than ever. Many European editors told us that after the tough struggle in March through May, they saw record sales in June, July and August. With less actual travelling allowed, it seems that we, the readers, are all once again longing to travel within the confines of a hardback: regardless whether it’s to imaginary fantasy lands, into the depths of the mind of someone different than ourselves or a journey of self-discovery, the book is here to stay.

This time of year is really something special. In Sweden, we call it “mellan hägg och syrén”, the magical time of early summer between the blooming of the bird-cherry and the lilacs when the trees are most lush, dreams of having a summer that will make up for 9 months of darkness are still intact, and the freedom of a long holiday is looming just behind the riverbend (unless of course, you are allergic, then it’s unfortunately mostly known as sneeze season).

In our business, it’s also a time to look forward to the autumn season, planning new submissions, editing inspiring material from the authors, mapping out the intricate schedule of available translators, and optimizing every detail that we can control. Simultaneously, we are wrapping up the spring season – filling holes in our list of submissions, discussing what lessons that we can learn from the previous season that we take with us to the next, and hopefully celebrating the success of a job well done since it’s so important to pat ourselves on the back a bit too.

Normally, this time would also mean that we have a bit of a breather, closing down the intense fair season and moving into a more regular pace – but as absolutely no one needs reminding of, this spring has not been anything close to normal. Last year, I had just arrived home from Paris where the Swedish Institute had gathered French publishers, translators, and Swedish agents for a beautiful day of speed-dating, lectures, laughs and coffee in their spectacular garden. Sitting there, we had time to talk at length about their specific tastes, their favorite novels, their dream projects, and how our titles would fit into their lists.

Those are my favorite moments in this rather strange business, that is still so dependent on face to face meetings; more than the busy, frantic fairs where everyone is trying to find the next big thing, and more than the zoom meetings and long, personal emails that we fill our time with otherwise. There is no better way to enthuse someone about a book than to show your own enthusiasm, and although it’s difficult to measure, I’m sure that the non-verbal communication that happens in those meetings is integral to our business.

As we are all slowly settling in our new ways after the first wave of initial shock, the tempo is rather going up now in June than down. Thus, we are still going full speed ahead: continuing to update, submit and remind all the wonderful international publishers about our strong spring list, with titles that deserve the attention that they normally would have gotten during fair season. Our updates are even more enthusiastic, even more strongly worded, and take double the amount of time and effort than they otherwise would have done. Emails don’t have body language, after all.

Even more so important then, that we go outside and literally smell the flowers, to clear our minds, find inspiration, and dream of better times – or even just normal times – in this most gorgeous season of the year. At least, it’s my new morning routine, and I have to say that the lilac has never smelled better.

 

Madelene
Junior Agent, Fiction & Narrative Non-Fiction

We are so so pleased to announce that the limited tv-series based on SPOTIFY UNTOLD has been picked up by Netflix as a Netflix Original series! Yellow Bird UK/Banijay will produce, and Netflix will distribute and market the series, which will be made in Swedish and English and hopefully out in 2021. We’ll keep you updated!

 

Read Netflix’s press release here: https://media.netflix.com/en/press-releases/the-story-of-swedish-music-sensation-spotify-becomes-netflix-original-series

 

                                                                11 December 2019

THE STORY OF SWEDISH MUSIC SENSATION SPOTIFY BECOMES NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES

December 11 — Netflix today announced the untitled scripted series about the Swedish start-up that shook the entire music industry and evolved into becoming one of the world’s leading music services – Spotify. The limited series is inspired by the book ‘Spotify Untold’ by authors Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud – both business reporters at Swedish Dagens Industri – and will be produced by Yellow Bird UK, a Banijay Group company and the production company behind the upcoming Netflix series Young Wallander. Acclaimed Per-Olav Sørensen (QuicksandHome for Christmas and Nobel) will be directing and Berna Levin (Young WallanderHidden and The Girl in the Spider’s Web) will serve as executive producer.

Tesha Crawford, Director of International Originals Northern Europe at Netflix: “The founding tale of Spotify is a great example of how a local story can have a global impact. We are really excited about bringing this success story to life and we look forward to continuing our great collaboration with director Per-Olav Sørensen and the team at Yellow Bird UK.”

At the height of piracy, established heavy-hitters were fighting against where the turbulent music industry was heading. The series centers around young Swedish tech entrepreneur, Daniel Ek, and his partner Martin Lorentzon, who revolutionized a whole industry by offering free and legal streamed music around the world. It is a story about how hard convictions, unrelenting will, access and big dreams can help small players challenge the status quo by evolving the way we can all listen to music.

“I’m thrilled to be making this timely and entertaining series for Netflix. The story of how a small band of Swedish tech industry insiders transformed music – how we listen to it and how it’s made – is truly a tale for our time. Not only is this a story about the way all our lives have changed in the last decade, it’s about the battle for cultural and financial influence in a globalised, digitised world,” says Berna Levin, Executive Producer, Yellow Bird.

“I am excited to bring the story of Sweden based Spotify to life on the screen. It is an ongoing fairytale in modern history about how Swedish wiz kids changed the music industry forever. The story is truly exciting and challenging. Challenging because the Spotify story has not ended yet – it is still running with high speed and will probably change while we work on the project. I am also happy to continue my cooperation with Netflix. The completely different projects we have done together so far really challenges me as a director, and I am looking forward to walk on yet an exciting path with Netflix,” says Per-Olav Sørensen.

The Swedish and English language series will be developed and produced by Yellow Bird UK, with Berna Levin serving as executive producer and Luke Franklin as producer. Per-Olav Sørensen, known for QuicksandHome for Christmas and Nobel will be directing.

About Yellow Bird

Yellow Bird was established in 2003 with the production of Wallander, a crime series based on Swedish author Henning Mankell’s renowned novels about detective Kurt Wallander.

Today, Yellow Bird is one of the leading production companies in Europe, with entities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and in the UK. Yellow Bird produces high-end drama for the Scandinavian and international markets, with a strong Nordic anchoring. This is evident in its track record with credits including the Millennium trilogy, Annika Bengtzon, Headhunters, Rebecka Martinsson and Occupied.

Since 2016, Yellow Bird has been a part of Banijay Group, one of the world’s largest independent producers and distributors of content.

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without adverts or commitments.

Mari Jungstedt’s 15th book in the Gotland series, I SEE YOU, was published by Albert Bonniers Förlag on the 4th of June, 2019, and went straight up to the top of the list of bestselling books in Sweden. Earlier this year, Mari Jungstedt broke the mark of selling over 5 million copies of her books.

In June’s bestseller list, Mari Jungstedt’s books topped the four out of six bestseller lists, with I SEE YOU (Book #15) as the no1 in Hardback, E-book and Audio, while DARKNESS IN OUR MIDST (Book #14) is featured as no1 on the paperback list.

Click to find the full bestseller list here. 

Linnea Axelsson’s powerful verse novel Aednan wins Norrlands Litteraturpris (Norrland’s Literature Award) for Fiction.

The book has previously won the August Prize for Fiction in 2018, Studieförbundet Vuxenskolan’s Fiction Award, Ordfront Award for Democracy, and Svenska Dagbladet Prize for Literature. It was also shortlisted for Swedish Radio’s Poetry Prize.

In Aednan, Linnea Axelsson narrates the story of three generations of two indigenous Sámi families in northern Sweden, whose fate mirrors Sámi history from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day.

We join the struggling family as they herd their reindeer towards summer pasture on an island in northern Norway. None of them can imagine that soon enough the Norwegian border will be closed to them, that they will be forced from their home, and future generations will encounter altogether different challenges. Piece by piece, an emotional landscape emerges as the families lives are impacted by Sweden’s colonial policy.

The Sámi people are the indigenous pastoral people of the north, their lands spanning the far northern tips of Norway, Sweden, Finland and parts of Russia, and who traditionally make their living from herding reindeer.

Ædnan is the traditional northern Sámi word for ’land’, ’ground’, or ’earth’.

 

Patrik Svensson’s The Gospel of Eels, called the ‘book of the fair’ at the London Book Fair this spring, has now been sold to 32 territories.

The Gospel of the Eels is a remarkable exploration of the relationship between a father and son and their shared passion for eel fishing, woven together with an account of the cultural, mythological and scientific life of the world’s most mysterious and enigmatic fish. In a perfectly balanced and evocative narrative, written in alternating chapters, the reader learns both of the Svenssons’ complex father and son relationship through scenes of their eel catching adventures and of the development of humanity’s fascination with and knowledge of the fish itself, from Aristotle to Freud to the present.

See the full list of sales by going to Patrik Svensson’s author page, or search for The Gospel of Eels on our website. 

 

 The riveting non-fiction title SPOTIFY UNTOLD by tech journalists Sven Carlsson & Jonas Leijonhufvud has recently been sold to Diamond Inc in Japan, for a record-breaking advance in the agency’s history, to Business Books in Korea, as well as to Jan Melvil Publishing in the Czech Republic.

Called ”A riveting piece of modern history, written at the pace of a thriller by Lee Child.” by Susanne Ljung, host of the award-winning show Stil on Swedish Public radio, SPOTIFY UNTOLD is the previously untold story of the world’s largest music streaming platform.

In the vein of Mike Isaac’s Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber and Adam Lashinsky’s Inside Apple, investigative tech journalists Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud deliver a behind-the-scenes exposé of how the 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. Based on over 70 interviews, along with previously untapped sources, SPOTIFY UNTOLD is a David vs Goliath story about how strong convictions, unrelenting willpower and big dreams can help small players take on tech titans.