“Dead Poets Don’t Write Detective Novels” at Iranian bookstores 

January 17, 2021 - 19:11

TEHRAN – A Persian translation of Bjorn Larsson’s book “Dead Poets Don’t Write Detective Novels” has recently been published by Nimaj Publications in Tehran.

The book has been translated into Persian by Qasem Sanavi.

This deceptively light novel is a manifesto in favor of the beauty of the verb. It is a dazzling set of mirrors.

On a late stormy, rainy November night, the respected publisher Petersen of Arnefors and Soner arrives at the industrial harbor in Helsingborg to meet poet Jan Y Nilsson on the boat where he lives. In his briefcase, Petersen has the contract for the crime novel that he has persuaded Jan Y to write. He also tries to celebrate that he has sold the foreign rights to the near-finished novel at relatively high prices. 

But will Jan Y sign the contract? Will he change his mind at the last minute when he is faced with the decision to irrevocably sell his poet’s soul to the forces of the marketplace and put his reputation as a poet on the line? Petersen discovers the horrific answer shortly thereafter when he finds Jan Y hanged below deck.

Larsson has written a literary crime novel, a friendly ironic reflection on publishing houses and authors. It is exciting and thought-provoking, and the reader will recognize the tone from Larsson’s earlier works.

“Dead Poets Don’t Write Detective Novels” was nominated for the Italian Booksellers Prize Primo Baccala.

Born in 1953, Larsson teaches French at Lund University, Sweden. He has published several novels including “Long John Silver”, “The Captain and the Dreams” and “Foreign Medici Prize”.

Naturally, because of his academic career, Larsson has published several university essays and books, mostly dealing with the French language and literature. But he has reached the great public with significant success as a bright novelist. In truth, his first work, a collection of short stories named “Splitter”, was almost neglected. His first success was “Den Keltiska Ringen” (The Celtic Ring), a dark deep-sea spy story set between Denmark, Scotland and Ireland, and based on the aspiration of Celtic countries (Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Galicia) to set themselves free and create a confederation. 

“Long John Silver” is a fantastic mixture of childhood dreams and love for adventures and the seafaring life. The protagonist is obviously the famous one-legged pirate of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island” who lives rich, old and almost alone in a forced Madagascan exile, remembering his past. 

Photo: Front cover of the book Bjorn Larsson’s novel “Dead Poets Don’t Write Detective Novels”.