Vilnius Alibi. Baltic Sea Crime Fiction Days. 09-12 11 2005

Arne Dahl

Arne Dahl (real name Jan Arnald) (Sweden)
Will be questioned:
On November 9th (Wednesday), 2005 at 5 pm in the discussion “Crime fiction as a mirror of society”
On November 10th (Thursday), 2005 at 5 pm in the literature workshop "Crime Laboratory"
© Photography by Sara Axelsson       On November 10th (Thursday), 2005 at 8 pm in the music
                                                             and literature happening "Evening of Alibi"
Personal file
Arne Dahl is the pseudonym used by the Swedish writer, critic and editor Jan Arnald (b. 1963) for writing and publishing crime novels. The writer presented his doctoral dissertation "The Tyranny of Genres” (Genrernas tyranny) on the Swedish writer Artur Lundkvist in 1995. Apart from working with the Arne Dahl project, at the moment Jan Arnald works as a critic in Swedish newspapers “Göteborgs-Posten” and “Aftonbladet”, as a magazine editor of art magazines “Artes” and “Aiolos” and as an
academic at the Stockholm University.
Literary works
It was in the mid-nineties, when the writer Jan Arnald mixed the letters of his surname and became Arne Dahl. The first novel by Arne Dahl was published in 1999. Arne Dahl remained a pseudonym for five years; during this period he published five crime novels. In 2002 a face appeared from the shadows and the readers finally got to know, who was hiding behind the pseudonym.
Jan Arnald made his debut in literature earlier than Arne Dahl was born. The first novel “The Massacre of Chios” (Chiosmassakern) in his own name he published in 1990. Some years later the writer published a collection of short stories “Dress in Words" (Klä i ord) (1997) and the latest novel "Barbarians" (Barbarer) came out in 2001.
Arne Dahl writes crime novels about an elite force within the Swedish police, called the A-team, which investigates crime cases and is lead by Paul Hjelm. In his novels the author captures the swift social changes in Europe during the years around the turn of the millennium and after that. They are unusual crime novels, hardcore thrillers with a literary touch and a mastery of style, with a good sense of humour and an unprecedented depth of character. Books that are very hard to put down.
All novels by Arne Dahl describe social problems that contemporary Europe was facing at the moment the author was writing them. Arne Dahl’s plan is to write a series of ten successive but independent novels about the A-team. Every year he writes one novel, up to this date Arne Dahl has published 8 novels on the A-team.
Novels about the A-team by Arne Dahl:
“Bad blood” (Ont blod), novel, 1998
”Misterioso” (Misterioso), novel, 1999
“The top of the mountain” (Upp till toppen av berget), novel, 2000
“Europe Blues” (Europa Blues), novel, 2001
“Many waters” (De största vatten), novel, 2002
”A midsummer night’s dream” (En midsommarnattsdröm), novel, 2003
”Requiem” (Dödsmässa), novel, 2004
”Hidden numbers” (Mörkertal), novel, 2005
Critics comment the Wanted
Good literature – these words could be told speaking about the books that Jan Arnald has written, and that would be truth. Using the pseudonym Arne Dahl, he is writing crime novels that are truly among the best crimes novels recently published in Sweden. His novels are tight, loaded and strongly realistic with a wide gallery of convincing characters. Besides, his novels are very interesting to read.
The success of Arne Dahl’s crime novels show, that Jan Arnald, who remains also faithful and hard working intellectual, has managed to break the borders of different genres. He feels confident using literary ways of expression, that allow him to write serious literature and at the same time the best crime novels in Sweden.
The Wanted about his works
In my novels I try to catch our times, when humanity is losing its weight. It seems that we can hardly see a friend around us, we become opponents and competitors. And then violence is very close. The opposite of that is collective, cooperation of people. And humour.
I couldn’t find any better genre than crime novel in order to show our contemporary life. It reflects the society, not the individuals. Violence is always chocking me, writing about it is a kind of incantation for me.
The main character in my crime novels, Paul Hjelm – that’s me. I gave him my doubts and thoughts about our existence, my contradictory competence, too. The worst thing is that I like him. And most probably, that means I like myself. At least sometimes.
The books should be judged according to their content, and not the author. That’s how the not existing author Arne Dahl came.
Sources: http://www.arnedahl.net/, http://www.aftonbladet.se/

"Postcard from Vilnius" by Arne Dahl

When she has hung the picture on the wall and it is hanging a little askew she suddenly thinks it empty. There is a frame, a thin black frame, but for a brief moment it is as if the picture itself is missing. Merely a frame around nothing. What was just now complex foliage, well-defined treetrunks, even a park bench is, for a few short moments, transformed so that it cannot be distinguished from the green wallpaper behind. The strange thing is that when she rights it, when the picture hangs straight above the sofa...
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