Mikael Niemi receives the 2021 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel for his TO COOK A BEAR!
TO COOK A BEAR – beautifully translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner and published by MacLehose Press in the UK – is the first historical crime novel to win the Petrona Award.
The judges’ statement:
The judges adored TO COOK A BEAR, a historical crime novel set in northernmost Sweden in 1852, and were unanimous in our decision to select it as the Petrona Award winner for 2021. We were particularly impressed with the novel’s use of historical detail, its fascinating reimagining of a figure from history, the sense of location and atmosphere, the rumination on religion versus the natural world, and the depiction of early forensics. TO COOK A BEAR’s superb characterisation of the main protagonists Læstadius and Jussi, which is tinged with sadness yet hope, also allows the author to explore the issues of literacy and class with sensitivity and compassion. The beautiful translation by Deborah Bragan-Turner lets the novel shine for English-language readers around the world.