Jon Michelet

In the 1980s and 90s Jon Michelet (1944-2018) was one of Norway’s most popular crime writers and an early exponent of what would later be known as Nordic Noir. Two decades later he crowned an already impressive body of work with his bestselling, addictive and significant naval epic from WW2. The first book of the series has sold more than 200,000 copies, while the first 5 books have been printed in 750,000 copies in total.

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  • DanishForlaget Republik
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  • DanishVindrose
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As a child, Jon Michelet was deeply fascinated when his uncle returned from the sea, telling stories of adventures all over the world. In 1962, Michelet boarded his first ship, 17 years old. He continued to work as a seaman for 6 years, after which he went ashore to become a journalist, a dock worker and a political activist.

In 1975 he made his literary debut, with a well-received crime novel. In the decades that followed he would publish a large number of books and become one of Norway’s most significant writers.

Until 2012, Michelet’s status was above all due to his series of crime novels, featuring the memorable anti-hero Vilhelm Thygesen. He won the Riverton Prize, Norway’s most prestigious crime fiction prize, twice, for the novels White as Snow and The Frozen Woman. Well-known in Norway for his strong commitment to a number of political and cultural causes, his success was in no little measure due to his ability to weld the format of the detective story to contemporary burning issues. The Thygesen series have been published in 13 countries, most recently in the UK by No Exit Press

Michelet also had great success with his books on the football World Cups of 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1994, written in collaboration with Dag Solstad.

Literary prizes:
Erik Bye’s Memorial Prize 2017
Anders Jahre’s Culture Prize 2016
Norwegian Sea Officers’ Prize of Honour 2015
Nominated for the Booksellers’ Prize 2014
Nominated for the Booksellers’ Prize 2013
The Østfold Prize 2013
The Riverton Prize (Best crime novel) 2001
The Riverton Prize (Best crime novel) 1980