Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dead Black Birds

by Jorn Lier Horst, Norway

This weekend I have been to Göteborg Book Fair, the largest cultural event in Scandinavia. The Swedish fair was established in 1985, and receives around 100,000 visitors every year.

I was there to present ”Vinterstengt” (”Closed for Winter”, UK 2013), that have just been translated into Swedish. In most of the countries where this book is published, it is a dead bird on the book cover. One of the exceptions is the English version. I had no thoughts of dead birds when I started writing the book. The book is about a philosophical question that has always concerned me: What is the reason why some people become criminals?

Some dead, black birds
That night I started writing, I saw a news story on TV about how it in the course of a day had dropped thousands of dead black birds from the sky in Arkansas in the USA. 

No one had any explanation as to why. A few days later the same thing happened in the small town Fallköping in Sweden. I wove these mysterious events into my story. It creates an eerie atmosphere when a bird falls down and hit the hood of a car or land on a terrace floor, a bit like in Alfred Hitchcock's film "The Birds".


Dead birds continues to fall from the sky. I have seen several newspaper articles about it since the first time. But unlike real life, in the book "Closed for Winter" you get an explanation of the phenomenon. A logical and reasonable explanation that is closely linked to murder mystery and the big question: The reason for crime.
Sir Alfred Hitchcock. The master of suspense 

Jorn Lier Horst




4 comments:

  1. Jorn, this is very creepy stuff. And it's the wrong side of winter to be thinking about it. Thanks for the goosebumps!

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  2. Okay, Jørn, you hooked me. But do I have to read it in Swedish?

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  3. Hate seeing those poor birds all over the place.

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