Håkan Nesser Interviews: How I Write


“I want to be the first reader of my own writing.”

How does one of the most acclaimed contemporary crime novelists approach writing? Find out in this video with Swedish writer Håkan Nesser: “I can write anywhere, if I have two hours to spare, if I have the story.”

There are no “normal days” in the life of a writer, Nesser argues, and he has a hard time believing authors who claim that the writing, and the plot, just comes to them: “The important thing is to have the story. Because you need the stuff in here before you can start writing about it.” He finds that the sensation of reading and writing are very similar: “I want to be the first reader of my own writing.” Nesser is also extremely keen on the language, which he finds is crucial to writing: “The paradoxical thing is, that language should not be noticed, because then there’s probably something wrong with it.”

Håkan Nesser (b. 1950) is a Swedish author of several successful novels, mostly crime fiction, such as the popular Van Veeteren crime series (10 books published between 1993-2004) and the books about inspector Gunnar Barbarotti (five books published between 2007-2012). Other novels include ‘The Sky Over London’ (2011), ‘The Living and the Dead in Winsford’ (2013) and ‘Eleven Days in Berlin’ (2015). Nesser has won the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy Prize three times, the prestigious Scandinavian Glass Key Award in 2000 and the European Crime Fiction Star Award (The Ripper Award) (2010/11). For more see: http://www.nesser.se/en/biography

Håkan Nesser was interviewed by Philipp Alexander Ostrowicz at Museum der Universität Tübingen, Museum Alte Kulturen in Tübingen, Germany in November 2017.

Camera: Benjamin Dornis

Sound: Fabian Schaller

Edited by Klaus Elmer

Produced by Marc-Christoph Wagner

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2020

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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