Free speech, Nordic Noir and the children’s book boom

30 min
As Sweden marks the 250th of the Freedom of Print Act, we take a look at the state of free speech and publishing in Sweden.

The 1766 Freedom of Print Act was a landmark for the expansion of free speech in Sweden, but Radio Sweden’s (unscientific) survey suggests that few Swedes know about this ground-breaking document. We also delve into the vaults at the National Library in Stockholm where the original pamphlet is kept, and we explore what threats still exist to freedom of expression today.

The freedom of print has also taken on a whole new meaning in recent years as just about anyone can write a book and self-publish it online these days. That's part of the explanation behind the recent boom in children's literature. We find out just what is meant my “norm-critical children’s literature” and we meet a Eurovision star turned children’s book author.

And of course, Nordic Noir is still going strong. It seems like new crime novels are published every week in Sweden. But is crime the only genre that works abroad or can Swedish authors who write other kinds of books make it internationally, too? We speak to publishers and authors with different takes on the matter.

Produced by Nathalie Rothschild.