Leif Davidsen (Denmark)
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"
On November 10th (Thursday), 2005 at 8 pm in the music and literature happening "Evening of Alibi"
© Photography by Ulla H. Davidsen
The Danish author and journalist Leif Davidsen was born in 1950. After graduating from school he travelled to the United States to attend high school in Middletown, New Jersey. In 1976 he finished journalism studies at the Danish School of Journalism and started his carrier at DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation). During 1984 – 1988 the author worked as a foreign correspondent in Moscow, he has also travelled a lot to different countries around the world as journalist. Back to Denmark Davidsen has worked as a chief editor of the DR’s foreign news desk; from 1996 he edited a TV series about modern Denmark “Danish Dream”. In 1999 Davidsen started as a full time writer.
Leif Davidsen made his literary debut with a poetry collection “Grains of Wheat” (Hvedekorn) as early as in 1976. His first novel “The Sardine Deception” (Uhellige alliancer) was published in 1984. The newest novel “The Enemy in the Mirror” (Fjenden i spejlet) came out last year.
Davidsen writes political thrillers, which depict life of modern man in a changing world. Even if the characters mainly are of Danish origin, the settings of the stories are often abroad.
Davidsen is one of the most famous Danish detective-story writers abroad and he has received several literary awards. His novels are all bestsellers in Denmark and have been translated into 15 languages. A couple of his novels were made into feature and TV films.
The most famous works:
”The Sardine Deception” (Uhellige alliancer), novel, 1984
“The Russian Singer” (Den russiske sangerinde), novel, 1988
“The Last Spy” (Den sidste spion), novel, 1991
“The Gullible Russian” (Den troskyldige russer), novel, 1993
”The Traitor and Other Stories” (Forræderen – og andre historier),
short stories, 1995
”The Serbian Dane” (Den serbiske dansker), novel, 1996
”Lime’s Picture” (Lime’s billede), novel, 1998
”The Good Sisters” (De gode søstre), novel, 2001
”The Enemy in the Mirror” (Fjenden i spejlet), novel, 2004
Critics comment the Wanted
The author Leif Davidsen has pointed out on several occasions that his work is heavily influenced by literature written outside Denmark, both as far as the theme and the genre of his books are concerned. His literary forebears as a modern Danish thriller writer, however, are the authors Graham Greene and Eric Ambler. The thrillers written by these two authors during the interwar period of the 1930s were a type of preparation for the impending World War. They were not only an attempt to entertain, but also a bid to awaken the British authorities. A political foreign correspondent by training, Davidsen felt a kinship with these authors, and a close link with their books with the message that no man is an island but part of a much greater whole.
In his novels it’s often all about outsiders with links to Denmark. The novels examine the way in which these individuals, at the hand of fate, become marginalised but effective antiheroes who are able to see both sides as they face the momentous twists in the plot. They are able to detect the intrigues in the foreign setting, while acknowledging also that they are as likely to be stabbed in the back by their own kind.
Davidsen points out that Denmark was at the extreme front of the cold war from the end of the World War in 1945 until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and that secret agents were despatched from Denmark to locations behind the Iron Curtain. The Eastern Block did likewise, sending spies to Denmark or hiring them as spies in Denmark. Davidsen himself has his roots in the political 1970s, but this is balanced by a healthy scepticism and his detached personal knowledge of the Soviet Union, which meant that he was never fooled by the so-called Workers´ Paradise.
Unlike his mentors, G. Greene and E. Ambler, Davidsen is really a first-class Danish romantic beneath his hardboiled plots. At the end of his labyrinthine tunnels of plots and schemes and sudden death, you will generally find the tragic love story of two modern, mature people.
"Technical Hitches" by Leif Davidsen
Jack Bellmann had been christened nothing less common than Lars Jensen, but even early on in his career he found that name too run-of-the-mill for a guy of his sort. Jack realized early on that he was a man with potential, and a man with potential required a name with a bit of swing to it, that was hot and stayed trendy. He had been born twenty odd years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He never knew his father, and his mother had married another man that he had always just called the Russian. Jack had just turned eleven then. It’s an impressionable age, and Sergei was a man after Jack’s own heart. He was tall, and slim to begin with. He thought steady jobs were for idiots and crime paid, and early on he taught Jack to sail the big speedboat from Poland to Lolland-Falster in the south of Denmark with fags and booze...
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