Orenda Books – a UK-based independent book publisher – is really knocking it out of the park at the moment, and its roster is rammed with a diverse and interesting group of authors who are supplying some really fantastic crime fiction. Orenda also specialises in crime fiction from the Nordic regions, and Norwegian writer Agnes Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal is one of the label’s buzziest titles from the past six months. And now it has been adapted for Radio 4′ Book At Bedtime series, and is well worth a listen (and read if you want to get to stuck into the book).
Ravatn is a novelist and columnist in her native Norway and has published several collections of essays. The Bird Tribunal has won two awards in Norway, the NRK P2 Listener’s Novel Prize and the Youth Critic’s Award, and it has also been adapted for the stage.
So what’s it all about? It tells the story of two people, each with a secret, who seek atonement for past sins. TV presenter Allis Hagtorn seeks solace in a remote house on an isolated fjord when she takes up a new job as a housekeeper and gardener. Her 44 year old employer is not what she is expecting. Sigurd Bagge is an enigmatic presence, and Allis, like a moth to a flame, finds she is simultaneously drawn to him and alert to his disquieting moods.
It’ll be broadcast tonight (Monday 23rd January) on BBC Radio 4, but it’s up on the BBC site right now. Go here to listen.