“Not Bullerbü-rosig”: Radio Bremen Crime Award for Åsy Larsson

In her detective stories, Åsa Larsson paints a picture of Swedish society that has little to do with Bullerby.

Photo: Orlando C. Bostrom

According to the Swedish jury, the author manages to balance Swedish society thanks to a series about prosecutor Rebecca Martinsson.

In his six-volume series about Swedish prosecutor Rebecca Martinsson, Åsa Larsson takes stock of Swedish society that is not as optimistic as we would like to believe.

In the latest and final volume of the series, Åsa Larsson focuses on the city of Kiruna. The city beyond the Arctic Circle exists solely because of massive ore deposits. In order to further exploit the mineral resources, the entire city is now transferred several kilometers through an enormous effort.

In this area, rarely in crime fiction set design, Åsa Larsson plays out her story and heroes, from fanatical cult members to the Russian mafia. Larsson makes Kiruna a kind of main character and moves into the background of the novel.

A surprising view of nature

Environment, nature and climate are never the usual backdrops in Åsa Larsson’s crime novels. Rather, he considers them a basic requirement and, at the same time, a hallmark of extraordinary life in the far north of Sweden. He draws impressive images of the May snowfall and dangerous paths through melting ice to mysterious crime scenes.

Nothing is black and white with Åsa Larsson, her characters are complex and always believable: from a successful boxer who finally wants to find out who killed his beloved father decades ago, to the investigator itself, which is always full of (the same) doubts worried prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson.

A: Åsa Larsson

Åsa Larsson comes from Kiruna, just like her main character lived in Stockholm for some time, studied law there and worked as a tax lawyer for some time. She started writing only after the birth of her first daughter – and in 2003 she immediately received the Swedish Crime Fiction award for the best debut.

Radio Bremen award for crimes

The award honors German-language and international authors. The jury is made up of experts in criminal literature from Bremen each year, and is supplemented if necessary by invited jurors. The previous winners are Anne Holt, Jan Costin Wagner, Liza Cody, Tom Hillenbrand, Friedrich Ani and Liza Marklund.

The current jury consists of the editors and crime critics Jutta Günther, Martin Bittermann and Lore Kleinert. They reward authors who stand out for their originality and richness of perspectives, social validity, linguistic brilliance and dramatic acumen, as well as consistent drawings of characters. Direct submissions from publishers or individuals are not accepted.

Radio Bremen Crime Night

The Radio Bremen Crime Prize is awarded during Radio Bremen’s Crime Night. Every year since 2015, this gala has an overriding socially important topic. In addition to the award winner, two or three other crime writers who have written crime literature on similar topics are invited. In addition to joint discussion rounds, the authors read from their works. The gala is crowned with live music. Radio Bremen’s crime night is usually the highlight of the many days of the Bremen crime festival “Prime Time – Crime Time”. Since 1997, it has been held once a year in Bremen.

Chronology of the winners of the Radio Bremen Crime Prize

2001: Frederick Ania
2002: Frances Fyfield
2003: Anne’s Lace (Cora Stephan
2004: Ake Edwardson
2005: Veit Heinrich
2006: Polina Daszkowa
2007: Oliver Bottini
2008: Gianrico Carofiglio
2009: Stefan Slupetzky
2010: Arne Dahl
2011: Elizabeth Herrmann
2012: Kate Atkinson
2013: Jorg Maurer
2014: Zoe Beck
2015: Crime novel and the sea (award winner Merle Kröger; other guests Klaus-Peter Wolf, Regula Venske)
2016: Strong Investigators (award winner Liza Marklund; other guests Michael Lüders, Andreas Pfluger)
2017: Crime in the City (Award winner Simone Buchholz; other guests from Volker Kutscher, Rose Gerdts-Schiffler)
2018: Artificial intelligence and digitization of everyday life in crime novels (awarded Tom Hillenbrand; other guests Ursula Poznański, Arno Strobel, Karl Olsberg)
2019: Art and culture in detective novels (award-winning Liza Cody; other guests: Michael Jensen, Bernhard Jaumann)
2020: Crime novel and the house (award winner Jan Costin Wagner, award postponed to 2021 due to the crown pandemic)
2021: Current themes in crime novels (award winner Anne Holt, Double Award 2020/2021, with Jan Costin Wagner, further guest: Gerhard Henschel)

This topic in the program:
Bremen 2, July 6, 2022 at 7:35

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