Jussi Adler-Olsen

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Jussi Adler-Olsen, 2012

Carl Valdemar Jussi Henry Adler-Olsen (born August 2, 1950) is a Danish author, publisher, editor and entrepreneur.

Jussi Adler-Olsen's career is characterised by his great involvement in a wide range of media related avtivities. In 1984 he made his debut as a non-fiction writer. 1997 saw his debut as a fiction writer. His latest novel is The Boundless (Den Grænseløse) (2014).

Early life[edit]

Born in Copenhagen, he was the youngest of four children and the only boy. Son of the successful sexologist and psychiatrist Henry Olsen, he spent his childhood with his family in doctors' official residences at several mental hospitals across Denmark. In his late teens, he played in a couple of pop groups as lead guitarist. Graduated from the state school in Rødovre (1970), 1970-78 he studied medicine, sociology (passed History of Modern Politics) and film making (exam.art.).

Business career[edit]

1970-78 – Managing director A/S Danergon (publishing rights)
1971-73 – Printer and foreman at Gutenberghus Dybtryk (in summer holidays)
1972-80 – While studying: ran a bookshop and imported movies, comics, non-fiction and posters
1978-83 – Editor and proofreader of magazines and comics
1981-83 – Organiser and part of the coordination team in the Danish Peace Movement
1983-84 – Composes music to the animated movie Valhalla together with Bent Hesselmann and Ron Goodwin
1984-89 – Independent publisher and owner of publishing house called Forlaget Donna
1987-89 - Freelance editor at Pressens Illustration Bureau
1990-93 - Managing director at Semic Interpresse A/S. Editor-in-chief of a publication a day
1993-95 - Publisher and primus motor in the Bonnier-owner weekly magazine project the TV Guide
1995- - Full-time writer and dramatist
2002-2008: Member of the Board of Dansk Photovoltaik A/S
2003-2006: Chairman of the Board of Solarstocc AG, Kempten, Tyskland.
2004-2007: Chairman of the Board of DK Technologies A/S, Herlev.
2008-  : Managing director Dansk Photovoltaik A/S
2009-  : Managing director adlerolsen.dep ApS
2012-  : Managing director adlerolsen.energy A/S
2012-  : Managing director adlerolsen.games A/S
2013-  : Managing director adlerolsen.estate ApS

Literary career[edit]

1978-80 - Scriptwriter for Walter Lantz and for Disney comics in Denmark and the Netherlands
1980-85 – Originator, editor and publisher of the first comics dictionary published in Danish: Komiklex alias Dansk Tegneserie Leksikon, it is still being edited and updated and in print
1980-82 - Writes his first novel, Russisk Kabale, during a 6-months stay in the Netherlands. The novel will remain unpublished.
1984 - Translates Chants & Hoggs' "Atomkrig" (Nuclear War), among other works.
1984-85 - Author and publisher of two bestselling books about Groucho Marx.
1988-89 - Publisher of Fred på tryk, a bibliography of Danish Peace and Security policy literature
1995- - Full time writer and dramatist

Adler-Olsen's novels have been sold in more than 40 languages. Outside of from Denmark he has enjoyed particular success in Norway, Germany and the Netherlands being a frequent visitor on the top of the bestseller lists e.g. on the New York Times Paperback bestseller list. Adler-Olsen's books have been on the bestseller lists in numerous other countries including Austria, Iceland, France, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.


Works by Jussi Adler-Olsen:

Works in English translation:

  • Kvinden i buret [= Department Q Vol. 1]
  • Fasandræberne [= Department Q Vol. 2]
    • published in the UK as Disgrace — (2012). Disgrace. translated by K.E. Semmel. London: Michael Joseph Ltd. ISBN 978-0-71-815689-3. 
    • published in the United States as The Absent One — (2012). The Absent One. Translated by K.E. Semmel. New York: Dutton. ISBN 978-0-525-95289-3. OCLC 703207340. 
  • Flaskepost fra P [= Department Q Vol. 3]
    • published in the UK as Redemption — (2013). Redemption. translated by Martin Aitken, Translation consultant: Steve Schein. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-139999-7. 
    • published in the United States as A Conspiracy of Faith — (2013). A Conspiracy of Faith. Translated by Martin Aitken, Translation consultant: Steve Schein. New York: Dutton. ISBN 978-0-525-95400-2. 
  • Journal 64 [= Department Q Vol. 4]
    • published in the UK as Guilt — (2014). Guilt. Translated by Martin Aitken, Translation consultant: Steve Schein. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-1-4059-0978-5. 
    • published in the United States as The Purity of Vengeance — (2013). The Purity of Vengeance. Translated by Martin Aitken, Translation consultant: Steve Schein. New York: Dutton. ISBN 978-0-525-95401-9. 
  • Marco Effekten [= Department Q Vol. 5]
    • Published as The Marco Effect — (2014). The Marco Effect. Translated by Martin Aitken. New York: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-5259-5402-6. 
  • Alfabethuset
    • Published as Alphabet House — (2014). Alphabet House. Translated by Steve Schein. London: Hesperus. ISBN 978-1-84391-544-7. 

Film adaptations[edit]

Kvinden i buret was adapted into a Danish film by Zentropa in 2012, titled "Keeper of Lost Causes" in English. It was the top box office film in Denmark in 2013. A sequel, a film adaptation of Fasandræberne ("The Absent One" in English), was released in 2014. Both films star Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Fares Fares.


Spidsrod a theater play in acts – finalist in a major drama competition DramaRama in April 2005. Århus Teater, the Katapult stage. Westfälisches Landestheater .[1] in cooperation with Sabrina Ullrich has created a theater play based on ''Kvinden i Buret''. It premiered in Castrop-Rauxel on October 19, 2013.


  • 2010 - Harald Mogensen prize for Flaskepost fra P. Awarded by The Danish Academy of Crime for Best Danish Crime Fiction.
  • 2010 - Glass Key award 2010 for Flaskepost fra P. Awarded by the Scandinavian Crime Society (Skandinaviska Kriminalsällskapet).[2]
  • 2010 - Læsernes Bogpris, Berlingske Tidende (for Flaskepost fra P). Very prestigious Danish national newspaper. The award is given for all books, not for a sub category.
  • 2011 - De Gyldne Laurbær 2011 for Journal 64. Awarded by the Society of Booksellers in Denmark.[3]
  • 2012 - Krimi Blitz Award 2011 for Flaskepost fra P. Awarded by Krimi-couch.de on the basis of reader's vores.[4]
  • 2012 - Danskernes Yndlingsforfatter (Bog & Ide). The favourite author of the year in Denmark 2011 as a result of a vote among readers carried out by the bookseller chain Bog & Ide.
  • 2012 - The Sealed Room Award 2012 awarded in Japan. Given by The Sealed Room Club.
  • 2012 - Grand prix des lectrices de Elle in the category Policier 2012 awarded in France Kvinden i Buret - in French Misericorde.
  • 2012 - The Barry Award Best Novel of 2012 for Kvinden i Buret - in US The Keeper of Lost Causes.
  • 2012 - Shortlisted to “Der Leserpreis – die besten Buecher 2012“. (became no. 7). It is the biggest audience book award in the German-speaking area. Readers nominate their favourite books for the annual Leserpreis.
  • 2013 - Danskernes Yndlingsforfatter (Bog & Ide) 2012. The favourite author of the year in Denmark 2013 as a result of a vote among readers carried out by the bookseller chain Bog & Ide.
  • 2013 - Årets Lydbog for Flaskepost for P (Sweden). Swedish award for best audio book of the year for Q3.
  • 2013 - Prix Plume du Thriller international (France). Prix Plume du Thriller international pour son roman Miséricorde – first place, which is called “Plume d’or”.
  • 2013 - Nominated to the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
  • 2013 - Prix des Lecteurs catégorie Polar (France) - awarded by Le Livre de Poche.
  • 2013 - Martha Prisen 2013 (Bog & Ide - Denmark) - the favourite author of the year in Denmark 2013 as a result of a vote among readers carried out by the bookseller chain Bog & Ide.
  • 2013 - Nominated to Lovely Books Leserpreis Die Besten Bücher 2013 (Germany).
  • 2014 - Coup de cœur de La Griffe Noire (France) awarded during the pocketbook festival Saint-Maur en Poche June 21, 2014.
  • 2014 - Nominated to The Barry Award Best Novel of 2014 for Flaskepost fra P - in US A Conspiracy of Faith.
  • 2014 - Le Prix d'honneur Boréales/Région Basse-Normandie du polar nordique (France) for Journal 64. Awarded on November 29, 2014 in Caen, France.
  • 2014/2015 - European Crime Fiction Star Award (Ripper Award) 2014/2015. To be awarded on March 17, 2015 in Unna, Germany.
  • 2014 - Nominated to MIMI, dem Krimi-Publikumspreis des deutschen Buchhandels (Germany).

See also[edit]


External links[edit]