’White noir’ in Sàpmi: Lars Pettersson’s novels

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOral presentation


    Lars Pettersson’s three crime novels Kautokeino, en blodig kniv (“Kautokeino, a bloodied knife,” 2012), Slaktmånad (“Slaughter month,” 2014), and Mörkertid (“Time of darkness, ”2016) are all set in the region of Sápmi, land originally inhabited by the Sami people, north of the Arctic Circle. The paper argues that Pettersson challenges the contemporary neo-romantic trend of Swedish crime fiction, which is generally constituted of works devoid of political or social critique, and set in isolated, idyllic rural landscapes (see Kerstin Bergman 2012, 2014). In contrast, Pettersson’s novels deal with crimes taking place in a setting characterized by snow, ice and wind; and the harshness and inaccessibility of the environment echo in the behavior of the characters. The concept of “white noir” is proposed in order to explore the cynicism and alienation of the inhabitants of this snowy region, and to draw attention to Pettersson’s representations of how the racialization of the Sami people continues to affect present-day relationships. Finally, the potential of fiction to serve as a complement to journalism when it comes to the documentation of sensitive social issues, such as the treatment of the Sami people in Sweden, is considered.


    ConferenceCaptivating Criminality 6. Metamorphoses of Crime: Facts and Fictions, G. d’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy, June 12 – 15, 2019.
    Period80-01-01 → …

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Humanities and the Arts (6)


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