Larsson-2012-05-12


Björn Larsson is an eclectic Swedish novelist (but also a French Literature professor, wannabe poet, seaman, not-really-a-gigolo and all-around nice guy).

While not very famous in the English-speaking markets (here is his Amazon listing) , he has quite a devoted following here in Italy - in his own words, "Germany is my #1 market, but you are my #1 love".
A love he returned by learning Italian to an impressive fluency.

Larsson was invited to Turin as part of the program of our big Book Fair here - the actual meeting was held in one of the rooms of our "Circolo dei Lettori" (Readers' Circle, literally) - a sort of haven for readers, offering reading rooms, conferences, a bar, a restaurant and plenty of initiatives in a magnificent location in the centre of Turin.

Björn projects a warm and easy-going personality, and the "conference" was more like a chat between him and journalist Luca Crovi, while whoever had questions or wanted to add something was free to do so.

The main topic was supposed to be Larsson's last book, a short essay on how each of his novels were created, but in reality we covered lots of topics, including terrorism vs. literature, what fiction is, the difficulties an author will face when trying to incorporate poetry in a novel, how difficult it is to deconstruct Stevenson and much more.

I can only add one final thing: if you like reading, try to find a copy of "Long John Silver - Den äventyrliga och sannfärdiga berättelsen om mitt liv och leverne som lyckoriddare och mänsklighetens fiende“ in whatever language you can read in (hint: looking for Larsson and Long John Silver should be enough). It's probably his best (and most easily available) book, and really rewarding.