Did The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo spark your interest in Sweden?

New Website Takes You Beyond the Fiction

By now millions of Americans have already visited Sweden through books and movies such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Let the Right One In . But is Sweden really as dark, cold and depressing as the latest wave of Swedish crime fiction leads you to believe? The newly launched website Sweden Beyond the Fiction - swedenbeyond.com - will answer that and many more questions fans of Swedish crime fiction may ask themselves.  

The site features video interviews with people involved in the film production of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo , as well as articles about Sweden, its culture and contemporary film and literature scenes, ranging from more fact-driven pieces to colorful prose. The site sets the record straight on issues like the Swedish welfare system, Bergmanesque melancholia, parental leave and male feminists.

Since their publication, the three novels in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy ( The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo , The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest ) have inspired readers to learn more about the country where the action takes place. Tens of thousands have already traveled to Sweden to follow in the footsteps of the novels’ main characters, punk computer genius Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist.

Those who still have not made the trip - or who want to return - will be delighted to find a sweepstakes on the website offering a chance to win a roundtrip for two to Stockholm, including three nights of luxury accommodation at the Hilton Hotel and a guided Millennium Tour by Stockholm City Museum.

“It’s a unique site that explores the image of Sweden depicted in crime fiction – whether it be film or literature,” says Public Diplomacy and Press Counselor Gabriella Augustsson at the Embassy of Sweden. She continues: “If you’re a fan of Stieg Larsson, then Åsa Larsson, Henning Mankell and Camilla Läckberg are other major Swedish crime novelists to investigate.”

Fans of Swedish noir will also want to check out the interview with Jens Lapidus, another Swedish writer who may be next in line to make a splash stateside. His bestselling novel Easy Money – the first of a trilogy – was released in the U.S. earlier this year, as was a critically acclaimed film adaptation distributed by The Weinstein Company. Lapidus, a criminal defense lawyer by trade, first began to write when he was part of a trial of three young men accused of robbery and assault. His book portrays a Sweden rarely seen in literature - the characters in Easy Money are intensely materialistic with an unabashed hunger for money, fame, power, and the upper echelons of Stockholm nightlife.

Go Explore Sweden Beyond the Fiction www.swedenbeyond.com

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Project partners: Embassy of Sweden , Consulate General of Sweden and VisitSweden

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