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SEX

Swedes ‘like it hot’: Erotic audiobooks all the rage

The number of Swedes listening to audiobooks has nearly doubled in just two years and a big part of the explosive growth is driven by an insatiable desire for erotic tales and romance novels.

Broadcaster SVT reported on Wednesday that 37 percent of the Swedish population listened to an audiobook last year, a marked increase over the 20 percent who did the same in 2016. 
 
While audiobook streaming services report that all categories of audiobooks have seen increased listenership, certain types of books are clearly leading the way. 
 
“Amongst the listening public, genres such as romance, ‘feel good’ novels and eroticism are growing. We are thus seeing increased demand [from listeners] as well as an increase in the number of publishers who are putting out these types of books,” Anna Riklund, the head of content curation at audiobook streaming service Bookbeat, told SVT. 
 
She said that the growing number of Swedes who want to listen to racy novels has led several publishers to launch imprints that focus exclusively on erotic literature. 
 
Audiobook streaming service Storytel also reported increased interest in erotic and romance novels, particularly among female listeners. Listener numbers peak around Valentine’s Day and during the hot summer months. 
 
Author Susanne Ahlenius, whose erotic novels include titles such as ‘Climax’ and ‘Lust 2.0’, said that the audiobook format is perfect for fans of the genre. 
 
“You don’t have to sit with a paperback that shows what you are reading. No one knows what you’re listening to,” she told SVT. 
 
Ahlenius said that her books are most successful when she “writes very explicitly and there is a lot of sex”. 
 
“People like it hot,” she said. 

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LITERATURE

Novelist Stridsberg becomes first Swede to be nominated for Man Booker Prize

The nominees for the Man Booker International Prize were announced on Wednesday and for the first time ever the list included a Swedish author.

Novelist Stridsberg becomes first Swede to be nominated for Man Booker Prize
Novelist Sara Stridsberg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
Sara Stridsberg is one of 13 authors on this year’s longlist for the literary award. 
 
The Swedish author is nominated for ‘The Faculty of Dreams’, the English translation of her 2006 novel 'Drömfakulteten'. The translation was done by Deborah Bragan-Turner and is scheduled for widespread release on March 21st
 
The novel is a fictionalized account of the life of American feminist Valerie Solanas, who is best known for shooting Andy Warhol. The book was awarded the 2007 Nordic Council Literature Prize.  
 
In announcing this year’s competitors for “the finest works of translated fiction from around the world,” Bettany Hughes, the chair of the judging panel, said that the 13 books on the longlist “enrich our idea of what fiction can do”. 
 
 
 
“This was a year when writers plundered the archive, personal and political. That drive is represented in our longlist, but so too are surreal Chinese train journeys, absurdist approaches to war and suicide, and the traumas of spirit and flesh,” she said. 
 
The Man Booker International Prize is the global complement to the Man Booker Prize, which is awarded each year to the best English-language novel as deemed by a jury commissioned by the Booker Prize Foundation. The international edition of the prize has been around since 2005 and was originally awarded every second year to an author whose work is published in English. In 2016, the awarding of the prize was changed to an annual event and since then it has focused solely on works of fiction that have been translated into English and published in the UK and Ireland. 
 
The 13 books will be cut down to a shortlist of six books on April 9th and the eventual winner will receive £50,000. 
 
Stridsberg was one of several members to quit the Swedish Academy over a sexual harassment scandal that rocked the Swedish cultural world. 
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