Liza Marklund, November 2008
|Born||Eva Elizabeth Marklund
September 9, 1962
|Genres||Crime fiction, mystery fiction, detective fiction|
|Subjects||Crime, thriller, mystery, detective|
|Notable work(s)||The Bomber, Studio 69, Paradise|
Eva Elisabeth "Liza" Marklund (born 9 September 1962) is a Swedish journalist and crime writer. She was born in Pålmark near Piteå, Norrbotten. Her novels, most of which feature the fictional character Annika Bengtzon, a newspaper journalist, have been published in thirty languages. Marklund is the co-owner of Sweden's third largest publishing house, Piratförlaget and a columnist in the Swedish tabloid Expressen. She is also a Unicef ambassador. The Postcard Killers, a crime thriller written in collaboration with American bestselling author James Patterson, is Marklund's twelfth book. It was published on January 27, 2010, in Sweden, and became number one on the Swedish bestseller list in February 2010. It was published on 16 August 2010 in the United States. At the end of August, it reached number one in the New York Times best-seller list, making Liza Marklund the second Swedish author (the first one being Stieg Larsson with the Millennium Trilogy) ever to reach the number one spot. Marklund lives in Spain with her husband Mikael.
Since her debut in 1995, Liza Marklund has written eight crime novels and co-authored two documentary novels with Maria Eriksson and one non-fiction book about female leadership with Lotta Snickare. Marklund's crime novels featuring crime reporter Annika Bengtzon have become international bestsellers. She won the "Poloni Prize" (Polonipriset) 1998 for "Best Swedish Crime Novel by a Female Writer" and "The Debutant Prize", (Debutantpriset) 1998 for "Best First Novel of the Year" with the crime novel Sprängaren (The Bomber), published in 1998. Marklund was named Author of the Year in Sweden 1999 by the Swedish trade union SKTF, won the radio network RixFM's Swedish Literary Prize in 2007, and was selected the fifteenth most popular woman in Sweden of 2003 and the fourth most popular woman in Sweden of 2004 in a yearly survey with 1,000 participants, conducted by ICA-kuriren, a publication published by a Swedish supermarket chain.
Her books have been number one bestsellers in all five Nordic countries. In 2002 and 2003, two of Liza Marklund's crime novels were listed on the international bestseller lists by the online magazine Publishing Trends, Prime Time ranking #13 and The Red Wolf ranking #12. In Scandinavia and Germany, her non-fiction novels have become the center of a heated controversy.
The Maria Eriksson series
Gömda (Buried Alive) is the 1995 literary debut of Swedish author Liza Marklund. It is the first novel in the Maria Eriksson series. The novel is based on a true story and deals with a woman who is abused by her boyfriend and forced into hiding.
Swedish journalist Monica Antonsson released a book in 2008 criticising the factual background of Buried Alive leading to a public debate about the book and the public libraries of Sweden reclassifying all editions from non-fiction to fiction.
- Gömda - en sann historia (Buried Alive - A True Story, 1995; updated edition 2000)
- Asyl - den sanna fortsättningen på Gömda (Asylum Granted - A True Story, 2004)
The Annika Bengtzon series
The Annika Bengtzon series at present consists of eight books. The framework of the Annika Bengtzon series is crime reporter Annika's hectic life, at a bustling tabloid called Kvällspressen in Stockholm, Sweden. Her conflict lies in combining motherhood with her career ambitions.
Starting with The Bomber, in which Annika is already a deft professional, the story then moves back in time several years, to the start of her career and the meeting with her future husband Thomas. By the fifth installment The Red Wolf, the reader is back in the present. Books 6, 7 and 8: Nobels's Last Will, Lifetime and A Place in the Sun, together make up a trilogy, with recurring characters and themes and plots linked to each other.
With The Annika Bengtzon series, Liza Marklund introduced a female main character, the tabloid journalist Annika Bengtzon, in a genre where the main characters had often been men. Current events, like political scandals or women's issues, are often intertwined with the plot, or introduced in subplots. Marklund placed 22nd on the list of the most influential media personality of 2008 in Sweden, a list established yearly by the trade magazine for the advertising industry, Resumé. Prior to The Bomber, there were very few female commercially successful crime writers in Sweden.
- Sprängaren (1998; English translation The Bomber, trans. Kajsa von Hofsten, 2000; The Bomber, trans. Neil Smith, 2011)
- Studio sex (1999; Studio 69, trans. Kajsa von Hofsten, 2002; Exposed, trans. Neil Smith, 2011)
- Paradiset (2000; Paradise, trans. Ingrid Eng-Rundlow, 2004; Vanished, trans. Neil Smith, 2012)
- Prime Time (2002; Prime Time, trans. Ingrid Eng-Rundlow, 2006)
- Den Röda Vargen (2003; English translation The Red Wolf, trans. Neil Smith, 2010)
- Nobels testamente (2006; English translation Last Will, trans. Neil Smith, 2012)
- Livstid (2007; English translation Lifetime, trans. Neil Smith, 2013)
- En plats i solen (2008; English translation The Long Shadow, trans. Neil Smith, 2013)
- Du gamla, du fria (2011; English translation Borderline, trans. Neil Smith, 2014)
- Lyckliga gatan (2013; proposed English title Nora's Book)
The Annika Bengtzon series has not been written in the order in which the events in the novels take place. The chronological order is as follows:
- Studio 69 (1999) – takes place eight years before the action of The Bomber
- Paradise (2000) – a direct continuation of Studio 69
- Prime time (2002) – the action occurs between Paradise and The Bomber
- The Bomber (1998)
- Den röda vargen (2003) – an independent story which picks up from the end of The Bomber
- Nobels testamente (2006) – takes place some months after The Red Wolf
- Livstid (2007) – a direct sequel to "Nobels testamente"
- En plats i solen (2008) - a direct sequel to Livstid
- Du gamla, du fria (2011) - takes place three years after Livstid
The three novels Nobels testamente, Livstid and En plats i solen can be considered as a trilogy within the series.
Two films based on Annika Bengtzon novels, The Bomber and Paradise, have been filmed in Swedish by the English director Colin Nutley. The actress Helena Bergström starred in the role as Annika Bengtzon in both movies. They premiered in 2001 and 2003.
In 2009, the film and TV production company Yellow Bird bought the rights to adapt an additional six Annika Bengtzon novels for the screen: Studio 69, Prime Time, The Red Wolf, Nobel's Last Will, Lifetime, and A Place in the Sun. In these six films Annika Bengtzon is played by Swedish actress Malin Crépin.
The films were released as follows:
- Nobel's Last Will (Nobels testamente) — Directed by Peter Flinth, DVD released 20 June 2012
- Prime Time — Directed by Agneta Fagerström-Olsson, DVD released 4 July 2012
- Studio 69 (Studio sex) — Directed by Agneta Fagerström-Olsson, DVD released 18 July 2012
- The Red Wolf (Den röda vargen) — Directed by Agneta Fagerström-Olsson, DVD released 1 August 2012
- Lifetime (Livstid) — Directed by Ulf Kvensler, DVD released 15 August 2012
- A Place in the Sun (En plats i solen) — Directed by Peter Flinth, DVD released 29 August 2012
- Härifrån till jämställdheten (co-written with Lotta Snickare; 1998)
- Det finns en särskild plats i helvetet för kvinnor som inte hjälper varandra (co-written with Lotta Snickare; 2005)
- The Postcard Killers (with James Patterson; 2010)
In 2004 Liza Marklund was appointed ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF. The reason was her long interest in issues related to human rights. She travels regularly on behalf of the UNICEF and has, among other things, especially covered questions related to child slavery and children with HIV and Aids in the third world.
- The Poloni Prize (Polonipriset) 1998 for Best Swedish Crime Novel by a Female Writer (for "The Bomber")
- The Debutant Prize (Debutantpriset) 1998 for Best First Novel of the Year (for "The Bomber")
- Swedish Union's Award 1999 for Author of the Year (for "Studio 69")
- Liza Marklund. Official site, Piratförlaget.
- TOPPLISTOR MARS 2010. Svensk Bokhandel, 2010.
- "Liza Marklund toppar New York Times bästsäljarlista (Liza Marklund at top of New York Times best-seller list)" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 29 August 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- Marklund guldkalv för Ordupplaget (Marklund Golden Calf for Ordupplaget). Svensk Bokhandel, No. 7, 9 April 1999.
- Sprängaren. Liza Marklund, Salomonsson Agency. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
- Carro och Henke är populärast. ICA_kuriren, 2005-01-05.
- Flood, Alison. Swedish crime wave sweeps European book charts The Guardian, 29 April 2009.
- "Liza Marklund, biografi, Piratförlaget".
- Krimi-Queen im Kreuzfeuer (Crime-story queen in crossfire). Buchreport, Die Buchbranche im Fokus der Medien, 22 January 2009.
- Krimiautorin Liza Marklund ringt um Glaubwürdigkeit. (Crime author Liza Marklund is struggling for credibility). Die Welt, 23 January 2009.
- "Toppadvokat krävde att få förhandsgranska (Top lawyer demanded pre-publication examination)" (in Swedish). Realtid.se. 28 November 2008.
- Svensk krimidronning beskyldes for at lyve (Swedish Crime novel queen accused of lying). Politiken, 15 December 2008. In Danish.
- Ahola, Suvi. Big, blonde, and always promoting women's issues Helsingin Sanomat, January 17, 2001.
- Öhman, Adam. Här är de mäktigaste åsiktsmaskinerna Expressen, 2008-05-28
- Liza Marklund ny svensk UNICEF-ambassadör. UNICEF, 2004.
- Europas barn till salu. Aftonbladet, 2005-03-21.
- Liza Marklund möter barnen i aidsepidemin. Unicef, 2007.