Saturday, August 23, 2008

Crime Scene Europe and Beyond

Bob Cornwell of Crime Time magazine in the U.K. sends news of a project that should interest anyone reading this blog.

Crime Scene Europe, produced under the auspices of the Asociación Internacional de Escritores Policiácos/International Association of Crime Writers and published in Crime Time, will offer practical guides "to the crime fiction of what I hope will be many European countries — and beyond."

The first, on France, downloadable here, offers a brief history of French crime fiction, an overview of the French crime novel today, a directory of key publishers, lists of crime-fiction festivals and prizes, selections of French crime writing available in English, and rosters of bookstores, Web sites and publications of interest to crime fiction readers.

That's a lot of useful information in one small package, and more countries are to come. The Netherlands and Switzerland are up next, with Spain, Germany, Austria and Italy to follow. A roster of other European countries is being assembled, and Cornwell says he hopes to expand the idea beyond Europe, possibly to Japan and Latin America.

What countries do you think belong on the list?

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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14 Comments:

Blogger Kerrie said...

I hope he is going to include Australia!

August 23, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter,

Whats going to happen to poor Belgium?

A...

August 23, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kerrie, Bob Cornwell has said that the project's initial idea was to help nudge more of each country's crime fiction into English translation, but who knows what directions it may take? Australia obviously would deserve a place based on the merit of its crime fiction.

August 23, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, I don't what Belgium might do in the crime fiction department, except print up T-shirts and bumper stickers in Dutch, French and German proclaiming: "Simenon was not French."

August 23, 2008  
Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

Or Luxembourg for that matter. Cool idea, isn't it?

August 23, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Patti, it pains me to admit that I know of no Luxembourgeois crime writers.

August 23, 2008  
OpenID maxine said...

Definitely Scandinavian: there are so many fantastic Swedish books just now, and a smaller number though no less good from Norway, Demnark, Iceland and Finland.

Bob Cornwell told me about this series at a launch party a few months ago, I'm glad to read it has now happened (for France, anyway).

August 23, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Poor (or lucky) Bob. This series could keep him going for years. The France article is an admirable package, and the organizers made a good choice of France to begin the series, I'd say.

August 23, 2008  
Anonymous LauraRoot said...

would Tintin books count for Belgium :)

August 23, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hear, hear, Hergé!

I would not have thought of them that way, but billions of blue, blistering barnacles, why not? He was an amateur sleuth, he solved crimes, he had bumbling police as comic foils plus a sidekick. He meets just about any reasonable criterion for crime fiction, in other words.

August 23, 2008  
Anonymous Bob Cornwell said...

Ah Adrian, poor Belgium: home of Plastic Bertrand, yes, but also of René Magritte, Simenon and some of the best beers in the world. The Belgians started writing crime fiction in 1904, late starters in comparison with say, Sheridan le Fanu for example, but a considerable tradition nevertheless – in both Flemish and French, another of those complications that mapping the world of crime fiction throws up from time to time. But I’m in touch with the Flemish crime writers association at least, and we hope we can come up with a workable solution. Hergé? Why not? But I’ll not pre-judge what the Belgians want to include.
And yes, Maxine, definitely Scandinavia. Gotta keep in with the (ex) boss... Notable Swedish writer K. Arne Blom was the AIEP President from 1994-97. And perhaps at least part of the reason why there is so much good crime fiction from the area is The Glass Key, the major Nordic crime fiction prize competed for, in spite of the linguistic differences, by writers from Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, and Denmark, an open-minded attitude I commend to the UK’s Crime Writer’s Association.
Australia? Not a high priority for a European series, but one of these days... Luxembourg? Well, if Iceland with a population of 300,000 can turn out writers like Arnaldur Indridason and Yrsa Sigurdardottir, then it is not unlikely that Luxembourg (with half a million) might also come up with one or two...
Thanks, all of you, for your suggestions – and watch that space.

August 25, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for weighing in, Bob. I had not heard of those Irish and Belgian beginnings that you mentioned. Your comment is a nice way of building anticipation for future articles in the series.

August 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Turkey? Or better; Turkish writers. I guess best one is already published (Mehmet Murat Somer in Penguin and Serpent2s Tail) but there is whole new generation of wonderful crime writers coming up in dozens from Istanbul:)

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the note. In addition to Mehmet Murat Somer, I know of several authors from outside Turkey who set novels in Istanbul. Akashic Books in the U.S. has recently published an Istanbul volume in its city noir series, and I assume at least some of the authors are Turkish. So Turkey may well be finding its way into the Western crime-fiction map.

December 05, 2008  

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