JOACHIM B SCHMIDT chats to Paul Burke about his new novel KALMANN, set in Iceland, translated from the German by Jamie Lee Searle.
KALMANN is the self-appointed Sheriff of Raufarhöfn. Day by day, he treks the wide plains which surround the almost deserted village, hunts Arctic foxes and lays bait in the sea ― to catch the gigantic Greenland sharks he turns into the Icelandic fermented delicacy, hákarl. There is nothing anyone need worry about. Kalmann has everything under control. Inside his head, however, the wheels sometimes spin backwards. One winter, after he discovers a pool of blood in the snow, the swiftly unfolding events threaten to overwhelm him. But he knows that his native wisdom and pure-hearted courage will see him through. There really is no need to worry. How can anything go wrong with Kalmann in charge? He knows everything a man needs to know about life – well almost.
Joachim B. Schmidt, born in 1981, emigrated from Switzerland to Iceland in 2007. He is the author of several novels and short stories and is also a journalist and columnist. Joachim, who is Swiss and Icelandic, lives in Reykjavik with his wife and their two children.
Film The Northmen
Anything by Sjon
Einar Kaárason Storm Birds trans. Quentin Bates
Hallgrimur Helgason Reykjavik 101, The Woman at 1000 Degrees, The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning
Produced by Junkyard Dog
Music courtesy of Southgate and Leigh
Paul Burke writes for Crime Time, Crime Fiction Lover and the European Literature Network.