Winner of 2021 Petrona Award announced – a first win for historical crime
The winner of the 2021 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year is:
TO COOK A BEAR by Mikael Niemi, translated from the Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner and published by MacLehose Press.
As well as a trophy, Mikael Niemi receives a pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2022. Mikael Niemi and Deborah Bragan-Turner will also receive a cash prize.
The judges’ statement on TO COOK A BEAR:
Deborah Bragan-Turner lets the novel shine for English-language readers around the world.
TO COOK A BEAR is the first historical crime novel to win the Petrona Award.
Comments from the winning author, translator and publisher:
Mikael Niemi (author):
I am very proud and happy to have received the Petrona Award and would like to thank my editor, Katharina Bielenberg, my translator Deborah Bragan-Turner, and my agency, Hedlund Literary Agency, who have made it possible for this novel to reach British readers. This happy news has brightened the growing winter darkness here in the very north of Scandinavia. I am sending my warmest thanks to all my British readers.
Deborah Bragan-Turner (translator):
I am absolutely thrilled and very honoured to receive the Petrona Award. It’s a great privilege to be in the company of such accomplished authors and translators on the shortlist. Many congratulations to you all. Thank you to MacLehose Press for your support and editorial advice, and to the panel of judges for your championing of and enthusiasm for Scandinavian fiction in translation. And of course thank you most of all, Mikael Niemi, for bringing the story of Jussi and the pastor to us in TO COOK A BEAR, an inspired novel and a joy to translate.
We are delighted that Mikael Niemi’s novel has been recognised with the Petrona Award. TO COOK A BEAR is immersive and transporting, historical crime fiction at its best, and it has been thrilling to watch it find its readers in English. Powerfully vivid and lush in its descriptions of Sweden’s very far north, and brilliant on literacy and the power of language, it has been beautifully and imaginatively rendered in Deborah Bragan-Turner’s translation. Congratulations to them both!
The Petrona team would like to thank our sponsor, David Hicks, for his generous and continued support of the 2021 Petrona Award.