A Little Death around the Eyes

ORIGINAL TITLE: Lite död runt ögonen


AUTHOR: David Ärlemalm


GENRE: Current Books, Fiction

A haunting page-turner from the dark side of a city, a love story of two parents, one living, one dead, and their child. When Sofia dies from an overdose Arto leaves his life as an addict behind in order to make a life for himself and his daughter Bodil. For some time, each step he takes is in the right direction – the direction of a normal life. But no road is straight nor easy, and even less so after being given a second chance. 

He gets fired after being falsely accused of selling drugs at the school where he works, and he is forced to earn his living in ways he knows from his past. As autumn turns into winter, Arto falls deeper and deeper into a web of lies, crime and violence, struggling to save himself and his daughter. David Ärlemalm’s debut novel A Little Death around the Eyes is a brutal and tender account of a life we hardly ever get to read about.



”A dark but tender, haunting and accurate story […]A Little Death around the Eyes actually caught me off guard. One of the first novels of the year, and, I dare say this already, one of the strongest. 5/5”


”The depiction of the fight to survive - being an ex-junkie in a judgmental and inhuman society - is strong, intense and convincing. It brought on an adrenaline rush, raised my pulse, made me hyperventilate.”


”David Ärlemalm has written a strong and deeply touching debut that goes outside the usual templates. 4/5”


"It is well-written, gripping, painfully credible and difficult to put down. […] A book a will remember for a long, long time."

Britt-Marie Kullin

"I have a hard time imagining that I will read a better book this year. I feel like it already peaked."


"An excellent debut!"


"An unpredictable page-turner that goes straight to my heart."


"I didn’t read this book, I lived it."


"When I read the last pages my heart was beating so fast that it felt like an adrenaline rush… I will carry Arto and Bodil for a long time."

Vargnatts bokhylla



”One of the best Swedish manuscripts I have come across during my 15 years in the industry”

John Häggblom, Forum

  ”A fantastic debut novel. Ärlemalm has mastered the art of writing a breathtaking page-turner that touches your very core. It’s realistic, affective and incredibly well-written.”

Stina Jackson, author

"An exceptionally good novel about a mans’ fight against society and against his own demons. With a scarce, precise and sensitive language the author portrays a father-daughter relationship I will never forget. It is thrilling, credible and gripping from the very first page." 

Vidar Strøm Fallrø, Aschehoug

Rights sold


Finnish Rights sold to Wsoy

Norwegian Rights sold to Aschehoug

Swedish Rights sold to Ester Bonnier/ Forum