Bay Area Book Festival

It’s the fabulous Bay Area Book Festival, upcoming! In the international line-up, writers from the North will be very much in evidence, including Denmark’s Jussi Adler-Olsen, Iceland’s Oddný Eir, Norway’s Per Petterson, and Sweden’s Jonas Hassen Khemiri (see more below!):

Nordic Noir: The World’s Best Thrillers? — Perhaps it’s those long, harsh winters or the literary tradition of violent sagas. Whatever the reason, Northern Europe has become a hotbed for bone-chilling thrillers. How do they do it? Does their own writing give them nightmares? Come hear Nordic masters Thomas Rydahl (Denmark), Hans Olav Lahlum (Norway), Vidar Sundstol (Norway) and Erik Axl Sund (a pseudonym for two writers from Sweden, both of whom join us today) as they illuminate what makes a thriller thrilling, and how these writers survive the experience. (Saturday, June 3, 3:30pm, at the Magnes Collection)

First Books: What It Took to Get There — There’s a book in all of us, but what does it take to get it out into the world? Hear Colin Barrett (Ireland), Jonas Luscher (Switzerland), Pajtim Statovci (Finland), and Aura Xilonen (Mexico) give their expert advice on writing their first books and navigating the sometimes bumpy road to publication in their home countries and the United States. (Saturday, June 3, 10:00am, at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza – Boiler Room)

Fiction at the Edges: Novelists on Trauma, Displacement, and Loss — Both debut novelist Krys Lee, in How I Became A North Korean, and internationally acclaimed Norwegian Per Petterson, in I Refuse, focus on individuals in desperate circumstances. Lee’s characters, forced into exile, must find ways to retain their humanity in the midst of aching upheaval; Petterson’s characters inhabit the uncomfortable realms of violent family history and depression. Joined in conversation with Berkeley author Elizabeth Rosner, these novelists will discuss the multitude of ways that literature can address modern life’s most urgent and painful challenges. (Saturday, June 3, 1:30pm, at the David Brower Center – Goldman Theater)

The Elusive Truth — We know we can’t trust everything we read online, but when it comes to fiction, where does truth fit in? Two engaging and entertaining novelists, Jonas Hassen Khemiri (Sweden) and John Toomey (Ireland), whose recent works involve mysterious deaths and the hunt for answers, tackle just such a question. Those who loved the podcast Serial won’t want to miss this. (Saturday, June 3, 1:45pm, at the Magnes Collection)

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