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In this hour, Nordic Noir is taking America by storm, especially the three novels by Stieg Larsson that feature Lisbeth Salander. She's so popular that writer Nora Ephron wrote a parody for the New Yorker called "The Girl Who Fixed the Umlaut," which is read by Jim Fleming. Sadly the author of this hugely popular trilogy died of a heart attack at age 50, before the books were published. New York Times writer Charles McGrath recently went to Stockholm to track down the back story of the books and the author. He tells Anne Strainchamps what he found. Perhaps the other best known Scandinavian detective fiction is by Henning Mankell and features his detective Kurt Wallander. In Germany the Wallander books have outsold Harry Potter. Steve Paulson taks with Mankell about his creation.
Next, it's not all men who've made waves in Nordic Noir. In Oslo Karin Fossum has earned the sobriquet "The Queen of Norwegian Crime" with a series of internationally best-selling stories of psychological suspense feature detective Konrad Sejer. She reads a little from one of the novels and talks to Steve Paulson. In Iceland the literary star is Arnaldur Indridason, reading from his novel Jar City. In fact recently 6 of the top 10 best-sellers in Iceland were his. He tells Jim Fleming about his gloomy Inspector Erlandur.
Finally, Nordic Noir crime novels are not alone in being dark and brooding. Scandinavian films are equally so. Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn's latest movie, set in the Middle Ages, isominous and violent. It's called Valhalla Rising and tells the story of a mute slave warrior named One-Eye who joins a group of Christian Vikings on a sea voyage who end up in the New World. Anne Strainchamps talks with Refn about his movie. [Broadcast Date: July 21, 2010]