Monday, May 18, 2009


Crime fiction conventions such as Bristol's Crime Fest offer a wonderful opportunity for ordinary fans to meet and chat with the authors and translators who have given them so much pleasure over the years. When one discovers that these "superstars" of the genre are charming, friendly and totally unpretentious it is an additional delight.
As a particular fan of Scandinavian crime fiction I was very happy to show translators Steven Murray and Tiina Nunnaly some of the sights near Bristol. 
Even though they have translated some of the biggest names in Scandinavian fiction including Astrid Lindgren, Mikkel Birkegaard, Peter Hoeg, Karin Fossum, Leif Davidsen, Karin Alvtegen, Henning Mankell, Mari Jungstedt, Camilla Lackberg, and Stieg Larsson, they were willing to listen to some of my advice on proper English terminology. So they next time you read the expression "Bloody speed bumps" or "blinking bollards" in a Scandinavian book you will know who is responsible, and I will be receiving 0.000001% of the royalties for that translation. 
We had a lovely day, the weather was typically English and our visitors said the rain was a pleasant change from the heat and sunshine of Albuquerque. I think they were being polite. 
We visited the Royal Crescent, the Circle and the Pump Room in Bath, the World Heritage site at Avebury, and the village of Lacock. 
I hope they enjoyed getting out of the busy city and seeing something of the very green English countryside. We certainly enjoyed their company, doing our bit for Anglo-American relations, and receiving a wonderful signed copy of The Sardine Deception by Leif Davidsen. This fine political thriller was Steven and Tiina's first co-operative translation from the Danish and was published by their own appropriately named Fjord Press of Seattle. 
I will certainly not be offering this book as a prize in any of my quizzes. 


Blogger Dorte H said...

Good to have you ´back home´, Norman, and what a great post!

I recognize that place in Bath - from the Inspector Morse series, I think. The one about two rivals who want to be headmaster of some college.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Kate S. said...

It all sounds like excellent fun!

5:36 PM  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yep, that is a nice post, but I hear Stieg Larsson's family is getting your share of the royalties.

I didn't know Morse found his way to Bath. Peter Lovesey's Peter Diamond is the only Bath detective I know. Lovesey even set a novel in Bath's Roman Baths.

I know those sites. You chose them well. I once slipped in the mud of the henge at Avebury, following a path my ancestors had taken thousands of years before.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

3:26 PM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

Uriah, thanks for a great day in the rain touring the "other" Southwest. We really were glad to get out of the heat and see the lush green of England, which almost required sunglasses to view, it was so bright! Hope to see you and your wife again soon.

7:54 AM  

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