Sweden, main character at the Festival of Literature in Bologna

Many authors represented by publishers and the Swedish Institute, the Swedish Arts Council and the Swedish Institute for Children’s Book will be present at the event on the agenda at the end of March

The Festival of Literature in Bologna approaches in the debate on children’s literature, in the middle of an interesting season for the Swedish culture, with Daniel Gustafsson Pech (The Swedish Institute), Susanne Bergstrom Larsson (The Swedish Arts Council) Asa Warnquist (Swedish Institute for Children’s Book) and the major publishing houses interested in the field represented by Annakaisa Danielsson (Alfabeta publishers/Agency), Lena Stjernström (Grand Agency), Kerstin Öberg (Rabén & Sjogren/Agency), Katharina Lantz (Natur & Kultur/Agency), Jeanna Eklund (Bonnier Carlsen / Agency), Marie Tomicic (Olika Publishers) which have already taken part in Rome to some appointments. After the presentation, which was held in Rome at the end of 2012, there will be in Bologna on the 25th March a huge presence of the Swedish publishing houses, with a large number of Swedish authors and initiatives organised by the Nordic country.

Sweden is in fact the guest of honor. On the occasion of the initiatives that were previously held in Rome, Eva Ottosson, project manager, presented the strengths of the Swedish literature in this area, while Susanne Bergström larrsson, the Swedish Arts Council and Pech Daniel Gustafsson (Swedish Institute) presented supports to the publication of Swedish literature in Italy. In the implementation of this project for the event 2013 in Bologna cooperate among the other the Swedish Institute, the Swedish Film Institute, Hamelin, Sala Borsa, START, Teater Testoni with projections and workshops.

Among the authors, Stefan Casta, Petrus Dahlin and Lars Johansson, Olof and Lena Landstrom, Pija Lindenbaum, Sara Lundberg and Ulf Stark, Frida Nilsson, Henrik Tamm, Anna-Clara Tidholm. They will also discuss the award “Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award” (Alma) in its tenth anniversary. The director of the award, Helen Sigeland, will present the international prize of literature for young people. For the year 2013 there will be two hundred and seven candidates coming from sixty-seven countries and the winner will be announced on the 26th March in Vimmerby, the birthplace of Astrid Lindgren. Asa Warnquist reported that “the number and the titles of the books are: Rabén & Sjogren, Egmont, Bonnier Carlsen, B/Wahlstroms.

In recent years, a significant phenomenon in the field has been and is the one of young female authors who write stories about fantasy worlds; then there is a literature for young people that explores the urban environment as an unknown universe. Other editorial experiments encourage readers accustomed to new technologies and investigate on alternative lifestyles. A clear trend is that of strong female characters, transformed into characters from the world of magic. Jeanna Eklund of the Bonnier Group recalled titles like “The Lasse Maja & Detective Agency,” written by Martin Widmark and illustrated by Helena Wills. The Swedish Arts Council (Kulturradet) is the government authority that supports, among other initiatives, the Swedish culture in the world, translating into any language works written in Sweden. The Swedish Institute cooperates with other institutions that represent Sweden abroad and universities.

Aldo Ciummo