There are many brilliant European writers working today and many more who have worked in the past, creating the foundation for much modern literature and much of the writing tradition as the world now knows it. Certainly, European writing has had a lasting and profound impact on the art form, an impact that can not be missed as it has influenced much modern writing the whole world over.
Patrick Benson is a writer and illustrator who was born in 1956. He has done much work in his life, one of the most well-known projects being “Little Penguin”, which came out in 1990, a work that he both wrote and illustrated. He has also done illustrations on many famous projects, including Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and Melville’s “Moby Dick”.
James Meek is a London-born reporter who has covered the war in Iraq, among much else, in the last twenty years. In addition to his non-fiction contributions to writing, he has written two collections of stories and three novels. One of the more recent novels is “The People’s Act of Love”, which won the 2006 Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award.
Steig Larsson was a writer born in Sweden who worked both as a journalist and as a writer of contemporary fiction–namely, detective novels. He died abruptly of a heart attack in 2004, just after finishing his “Millennium Trilogy”, a series of books that has sold extremely well and is still doing so today. The first book in the series, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, has also been made into a film in Sweden that has since been seen all over the world.
Per Petterson has established himself as one of the most important writers to ever come out of Norway. He worked for a while at jobs that kept him very close to writing–as a bookseller, a librarian, and a translator. His writing eventually began to gather force, however, in 1987, when he published a collection of short stories titled “Ash in His Mouth, Sand in His Shoe”. His most recent work was wildly succesfull, a novel called “Out Stealing Horses”, which won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in the UK. It has been sold all over the world and solidified Petterson’s place as one of the most important writers still at work today.
Paulus Hochgatterer won the 2009 European Prize for Literature for his book “The Sweetness of Life”. He was born in Austria in 1961 and now lives in Vienna. His prize was the most recent of the European Prizes to be awarded and was a major event in his long and celebrated career as a writer, in which he has won many other awards.