Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Michael Cody

Committee Members

Judith Slagle, Mark Baumgartner


This thesis reexamines the beginnings of Swedish hardboiled crime literature, in part tracking its lineage to American culture and unpacking Swedish identity. Following the introduction, the second chapter asserts how this genre began as a form of escapism, specifically in Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö’s Roseanna. The third chapter compares predecessor Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep with Roseanna, and how Sweden’s greater gender tolerance significantly outshining America’s is reflected in literature. The fourth chapter examines how Henning Mankell’s novels fail to fully accept Sweden’s complicity in neo-Nazism as an active component of Swedish identity. The final chapter reveals Helene Tursten’s Detective Inspector Huss engaging with gender and racial relations in unique ways, while also releasing the suppressive qualities found in the Swedish identity post-war. Therefore, this thesis will better contextualize the onset of the genre, and how its lineage reflects the fruits and the damages alike in the Swedish identity.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.