Friday, July 31, 2009


Mike Ripley in his amusing column at Shots Magazine was kind enough to mention that in 2008 not one of the "expert readers" of Euro Crime picked the eventual winner the name of which he seemed to have forgotten.;0)

Well this inexpert reader was in the middle of reading that book while the judges were deliberating, and might well have chosen it if given the time. Well that is my story and I am sticking to it. At least my choice got a special mention.

The 2008 International Dagger winner was Lorraine Connection by Dominique Manotti translated from the French by Amanda Hopkinson and Ros Schwartz.

My choice for 2009, not quite ignored by the judges, was Echoes of the Dead by Johan Theorin translated by Marlaine Delargy.

There is a theory being touted that Scandinavian writers are being seduced away from writing proper literature by the financial rewards of crime fiction. I am entirely in agreement with Barbara Fister in her rebuttal of this pomposity.
We are even told that Nordic writers are being sucked into "sub- and semi-literary channels" and actually selling books.
This denigration of crime fiction in comparison with literature will rumble on and on. But it is not as annoying as writers who try to make crime fiction literature, or what they think is literature, by writing very long sentences and using words I have to look up in the OED.


Blogger Kerrie said...

This suggestion that crime fiction is some sort of lesser writing seems to recur on a regular basis. All sorts of people get their knickers in a knot because talented writers are turning to crime fiction than writing... what? If we read romance or westerns no doubt we would be aware of the same complaints. I don't write crime fiction or literature for the same reason many of the journos don't - that is not where my talents lie.
The argument about the diversion of talented writers away from so-called literary genres reminds of the one that happens here in Oz about boys playing "football" of which we have at least 3 codes. If only he had played... but he didn't

4:00 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks for the shout-out. Funny that Mike Stotter, in talking about translators, recounts asking a group of them if they read English-language crime fiction, and uh, no, they don't. I suspect they were trained in academic literary criticism as they learned their language skills and don't tend to be terribly aware of what the genre is all about.

I have nothing against their personal tastes trending toward the purely literary, but I stand by the value of learning something about the world by reading whatever you enjoy reading. And if a large number of people want to read crime fiction, I'm glad someone is ready to translate it.

Reg / Steve Murray seems to read in the genre, which must take some doing, as many books as he translates...

6:23 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Er, Mike Rippley. (Bumps head against the wall.)

6:00 PM  

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