Listen to Writers & Company's special series on the Nordic imagination
In the midst of an exciting "cold wave" of Nordic literature, television and film, it's time to turn the focus on our fellow northerners. Writers & Company, hosted by Eleanor Wachtel, will be broadcasting a special four-episode series, Darkness and Light: The Nordic Imagination, on CBC Radio One.
Over the next four weeks, Wachtel will be interviewing writers from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland whose stories live on the page, the screen and the canvas. These in-depth conversations will explore the deep roots and connections between the countries that make up the Nordic region.
Keep reading to learn more about each guest.
First up is Swedish screenwriter and novelist Hans Rosenfeldt, creator of the award-winning Scandinavian TV series The Bridge, which has aired in more than 170 countries and inspired several successful remakes. He also co-authors the bestselling Sebastian Bergman crime fiction series. Wachtel spoke with Rosenfeldt in Stockholm about the Nordic noir phenomenon, his early passion for Nancy Drew novels and the Swedish coffee habit, known as "fika."
Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard is the author of the phenomenally successful six-volume series My Struggle. His new, very different series is called The Seasons Quartet, and it takes the form of a letter to his daughter. From meditation on everyday objects and experiences, to revelations on how to live, Knausgaard's perspective on family — and the world — is unique.
From Denmark, Dorthe Nors's latest novel Mirror, Shoulder, Signal was published to rave reviews in 2016. She's the first Danish writer to have a story published in The New Yorker, and her work has also appeared in Harper's Magazine, Guernica, Boston Review, A Public Space and Tin House. In an intimate conversation recorded in Copenhagen, Nors shares with Wachtel her thoughts on The Little Mermaid, the Danish Songbook tradition, and the lifestyle concept of "hygge" that is gaining popularity around the world.
From Iceland, Hallgrimur Helgason is a prize-winning novelist, painter, translator and essayist. His work, in all its dimensions, is witty, profound, and deeply engaged with the history and culture of his island nation. Wachtel spoke with Helgason in Reykjavik about everything from the ancient sagas to Bjork, volcanic eruptions to the economic crash of 2008, and why beer was banned in Iceland until 1989.