To my surprise, I learned on Saturday that my book, The Bible’s Most Fascinating People, is going to appear in Swedish in September. Given Sweden’s reputation for secularism, it is perhaps surprising that a book focused on Bible stories should find its way into that language. But Wahlström & Widstrand is bringing out my book on September 18. The book was translated by Gunhild Winqvist Hollman.
According to Wikipedia, Wahlström & Widstrand is a large publisher in Sweden established in 1885 by Per Karl Wahlström and Wilhelm Widstrand, two booksellers in Stockholm. Their company started publishing fiction in the 1890’s. Non-Swedish authors introduced to Sweden by Wahlström & Widstrand include Herman Hesse, Thomas Mann, Joseph Conrad, Maxim Gorky and Henri Bergson as well as later authors such as Franz Kafka, William Styron and Joseph Heller. Numerous acclaimed Swedish writers have been discovered by the them, and it has also published several Nobel Prize winners such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Gabriel García Márquez, Derek Walcott, Wole Soyinka, Joseph Brodsky, José Saramago and V. S. Naipaul. Now, remarkably, my work is about to be introduced by them to Sweden.
While I don’t think my book is in the same class as Solzhenitsyn’s work, I must admit to feeling incredibly pleased to know that I’m being published by his publisher, since he’s one of my favorite authors.