Nordic literary salon online: Night Express

The last salon before Christmas will introduce the book Night Express (Nattexpressen) by Karin Erlandsson, the Finland’s Swedish author. Translated by Jan Marek Šík, it is a perfect book for the time of long, freezing nights. The Czech translation was published by Host publishing house in November 2022.

The event will be streamed on Wednesday, December 7, from 8 PM on our Facebook page. The recording will afterwards be available on our YouTube channel.

Night Express (translated into Czech in 2022 by Jan Marek Šík) – Dania’s granny lives in an old station building next to a disused railway. Every year Dania, her big sister Nanda and their parents move to their grandmother’s for December in the run-up for Christmas. Granny has become older and more forgetful during the past years, and sometimes she speaks nonsense. One evening Granny seems exceptionally absent-minded before disappearing from her room. The same night Dania hears something and sneaks out to see it with her own eyes: an express train is pulling up at the station. Dania manages to stop the night train and the adventure begins. She boards the train that returns every night. On the train she meets Konrad, and it soon transpires that everyone on the night train has lost someone they love. With the help of a key from Granny and a mysterious music box, Dania and Konrad are able to bend time itself.

The book is illustrated by Peter Bergting (b. 1970), one of Sweden’s most famous illustrators. He has done illustrations and covers to numerous books for children, young adults as well as general fiction.

The novel was awarded with Runeberg Junior Prize 2021.

Karin Erlandson (b. 1978) is a Finnish author writing in Swedish. She has published fou rnovels: the Nordic Council Literary Prize nominee Mink Farm (2014), The Misdeed (2016), Enclosed (2018) and Home (2021). She has also written a four-part series of children’s novels called Song of the Eye Gemstone. The first novel of the four, Pearl Fisher (2017), received the Runeberg Junior Prize and was nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize, similarly to the fourth novel Victor (2019) and Erlandsson’s stand-alone middle-grade adventure Night Express (2020), illustrated by Peter Bergting. In addition, she has published works of nonfiction.

Jan Marek Šík (b. 1988) studied Finnish, Swedish, Baltic studies and narration theory. He teaches at the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University in Brno, translates (mostly from Swedish), writes literary reviews, and popularises Scandinavian culture. Together with his wife Lenka, he plays in a metal band and writes young adult fantasy novels.

The partner of the event are the Czech translators of the North – an organisation uniting Czech translators from Nordic languages. The event is a part of a year-long project of the Scandinavian House: “Nordic literature in the heart of Europe 2022”, which has been supported by Prague municipality and the Czech Ministry of Culture.