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Chapter 12 - Scandinavian Crime Fiction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2022

Jesper Gulddal
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle, New South Wales
Stewart King
Affiliation:
Monash University, Victoria
Alistair Rolls
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle, New South Wales
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Summary

Scandinavian countries have gone from mostly importing crime fiction to being, in the twenty-first century, the genre’s lead exporters. The chapter considers this transnationalization from three perspectives, showing how Scandinavian crime writing adapts international genres to local concerns, how notable examples of the genre engage with the wider world, and how novels and TV series circulate within transnational networks. It argues that Scandinavian crime fiction is bound up with transnational and transmedial networks of influence, appropriation and innovation. Sjöwall and Wahlöö’s procedurals reflect popular geopolitics while their proto-typical Scandinavian cop longs for a Swedish welfare utopia. Cross-border crimes in works by Henning Mankell, Anne Holt and Peter Høeg critique global structures of social and racial inequality and challenge the demarcation between the local and the global. More recent global bestsellers by Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbø employ hybrid genres to tell stories of a globalizing world where the relationship between the welfare state and global neoliberalism, and between the bounded nation and an increasingly transnational world are key ingredients.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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