The New York Times ran an article (“A Scandinavian Hit Sets Publishers Seeking More“) yesterday about the increasing market demand for ‘the next Stieg Larsson,’ or a series which will sate the appetites of those who just can’t get enough of The Girl Who. I’m skeptical of this on many a level. For one, as the article points out, just because people loved this series, doesn’t mean they are gravitating towards the Scandinavian setting and will automatically find themselves enamored of other popular Scandinavian authors. Try convincing someone who loved this series that they’ll get the same sprawling, cynical, plot-addled scenarios from a Henning Mankell police procedural. It’s not going to go over well. There aren’t any vengeance demon hacker-types in Indriðason or Fossum novels, either. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little horizon-broadening.
There will actually be some interesting fall out from this trend, too. Henning Mankell has been widening the market for other Scandinavian (crime) authors for quite some time, but according to this piece, he’s only now making the New York Times bestseller list, which frankly, I find not a little shocking. Think of the exposure that Larsson is going to have, what with his books selling a kazillion copies from here to Bahrain. A number of authors have been given book deals in the US now, not least Camilla Lackberg. She’s written seven, highly praised novels, many of which have been translated into English and published in the UK and Canada. I’ve been waiting for The Ice Princess to make it stateside for years, and now (finally!) it will.
So thanks, Stieg.