Born 1971 in Aarhus, Denmark.
NEW IMPROVED WEBSITE IN THE MAKING ...
Please check in again mid/ultimo september. Untill then I hope this home-grown nonsense will do.
ANE RIEL / author
Apologies for this very limited English version of my homepage. New and improved site is in the making.
I'm the author of two novels, 'The Butcher of Liseleje' (Slagteren i Liseleje, 2013) and 'Resin' (Harpiks, 2015).
Previously I've published a number of children's books / school books on art, architecture etc.
Right now I'm working on my third novel which I expect will be out in 2019.
If you would like to contact me or my agency, Copenhagen Literary Agency: click here
RESIN (original title: Harpiks)
- The Glass Key / Best Nordic suspense novel 2016
- The Harald Mogensen Award / Best Danish suspense novel 2016
- Den Gyllene Kofoten / Best suspence novel translated into Swedish 2017
- The Golden Bullet / Best suspense novel translated into Norwegian 2017
- 2nd place at The Danish Broadcasting Company's Best Novel Award 2016 (not crime)
- Nominated for The Readers' Best Novel Award (not crime)
THE BUTCHER OF LISELEJE (original title: Slagteren i Liseleje)
- Best crime novel debut 2014
For the authorship
- The Niels Matthiasen's Memorial Award 2016 (cultural award)
HARPIKS / RESIN
Originally published by Tiderne Skifter, October 2015
English version published by Doubleday (Penguin) on August 9th 2018 - see below.
My second novel is about a little girl, Liv, who grows up in a loving but also very troubled family. Her father, Jens, is a hoarder who gradually becomes more and more paranoid and frigthened of losing his loved ones. As a result he chooses to report the death of his daughter (when she's about to start school at 7 years old) and then hide her in an old container/skip behind their house. Meanwhile his wife has grown so big that she's unable to leave the bedroom. Scroll down for press quotes, readers' reviews etc.
The book has been awarded with several crime/suspense novel awards – among these 'The Glass Key Award' for best Nordic suspense novel. Furthermore it has been nominated for two literary awards (not crime) in Denmark. Scroll down for more info about the awards.
Please note that Resin was not written or presented as a crime novel but as a fiction novel. Apparently it is both. :)
Film rights have been secured by the film company Zentropa. The feature film is expected to premiere in 2019 (filming has started in Denmark in August 2018).
RIGHTS SOLD TO: China: Beijing White Horse Time, Croatia: Vorto Palabra, Czech Republic: Knihy Dobrovský, Estonia: Eesti Raamat, Finland: Aula & Co., Germany: btb/Random House, Israel: Am Oved Publishers, Italy: Ugo Guanda Editore/ Gruppo editoriale Mauri Spagnol (pre-empt), Japan: Hayakawa, Korea: Eunhaengnamu, Norway: Aschehoug (at auction), Slovakia: Premedia, Sweden: Modernista, UK (WE): Transworld/ Doubleday (at auction).
Published in August 2018 by Doubleday (an imprint of Transworld Publishers / Penguin)
Translated from the Danish by Charlotte Barslund
The multi-award-winning international bestseller
Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.
Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.
But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.
This way, Liv would be safe.
Suspenseful and heart-breaking, Resin is the story of what can happen when you love someone too much – when your desire to keep them safe becomes the thing that could irrevocably harm them.
Winner of Scandinavia's most prestigious awards: The Glass Key, The Golden Bullet, Best Crime Novel from the Swedish Crime Writer's Academy and The Harald Mogensen Award.
It reminded me of Stephen King at his best: creepy as hell,
but with compassion for every character, however misguided.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (Jake Kerridge, The Daily Telegraph)
One of the most remarkable books I've read for a very long time ...
This book of the year contender
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (Jon Coates, The Daily Express)
Scroll down for UK press reviews (The Telegraph, The Observer, The Guardian, The Daily Express etc)
OTHER AUTHORS ABOUT RESIN
"A vivid, fable-esque exploration of love when it is too much" Ali Land, author of Good Me Bad Me
"A chilling story about the lengths a man will go to protect his family and way of life. Liv and the terrifying place she manages to survive in will stay with me for a long time." Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days
"Darkly brilliant. As beautifully written as it is page turning - an original and compelling voice." Kate Hamer, author of Girl in the Red Coat
"Liberatingly original. Exceptionally gripping." Karin Fossum
"Astonishingly good - a glittering dark fairy-tale that will grip you from start to finish. The final few pages had my pulse racing." Paul Burston
"Absolutely brilliant - such detailed layering of character, moving and creepy as hell. So original and beautifully written and I couldn't wait every night to read it - the mark of a truly compelling book.” Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle
HARPIKS/RESIN – PRESS QUOTES
Holy smokes, Ane Riel has written one wholly captivating and remarkable novel. [...] Gloomy Nordic and at the same time, and magically realistic, a spell conjured up by a sensitive child's fantastic descriptions of life on the island and an ending that is almost apocalyptic and - fortunately - leaving a chink of light and hope for the child's future. [...] RESIN has been one of the most pleasurable reads I have found among Danish novels for a long time.
- Weekendavisen (national newspaper)
Shipwrecked dreams and the pain of loss are central themes in Ane Riel’s second novel, RESIN. Although it may sound bleak, which it certainly is, the story is interspersed with so much humor and vitality, that it is truly a little mixed bag of cross-genre gems. At the end of the book, one is both enriched, moved and amused, having been led through a whole gamut of emotions, and if one had known beforehand, just how increasingly unnerving it would become, one wouldn’t pick it up in the late hours of the night. Ane Riel manages, in other words, to strike a chord with her readers. Her language is pure and sharp in a crooked sort of way, her characters ambiguous and colorful, while the story is captivating, the tone melancholic, melodious and masterfully strange, and in the end she bundles everything into a little universe of its own, where there are no definitive answers or conclusions, but where interpretations and the very backbone of one’s point of view is challenged. […] RESIN is about how a sensitive individual like Jens is overcome by the grief of losing someone, and how he takes it out on his own family and his own life, to avoid further pain. But it is also about how love can allow and tolerate too much, and how the outside world cares little more for those who stand out – other than using them as fuel for a little cheap gossip. However, at the same time, there is no finger wagging or moralising reprimands in Ane Riel’s novels. Her text is open to interpretation, both because those who live lives stuck within their own heads, aren’t always the strangest among us, but also because Liv’s naive and logical approach to the world puts both big and small issues on the table and challenges the reader, so that he or she reconsiders normality as they know it. RESIN is a tremendous little novel.
- Berlingske (national newspaper) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It is both a thriller and a family saga of the odd sort, narrated with a fantastic feel for the child’s mind and inner world. […] Riel manages to paint her strange stories with love and terror, poetry and paranoia, imagination and death without ever loosing track of the human aspect. One of the things that makes “Resin” luminous and light, in spite of the fact that it weights on the heart and rattles your nerves, is the author’s ability to maintain a certain tongue-in-cheekness in the midst of the tragedy as well as a wonderful eye for the quirky in both language and characters. It is one of the best books to emanate from the body of Danish crime in a long time.
- Ekstra Bladet (national newspaper) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Ane Riel’s second novel clearly contends with her debut released two years ago. She follows her characters right to the end, to the point of madness and danger.
- Politiken (national newspaper) ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Ane Riel has done it again, written a novel that spell-binds and captivates you right from the beginning .... A supremely successful work that rightly questions, if it really is so obvious, what it is that is good and the opposite of that.
- Litteratursiden (website of the Danish Libraries)
Riel's second novel is unimaginably cruel, and yet so beautiful in its own way. […] As suggested, the novel offers slightly quirky characters a voice, a loving voice - and that’s what I'm crazy about. Calls for an afterthought.
- Bognørden (book blogger) ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Ane Riel gives the reader goosebumps in a grotesque novel that is as beautiful as it is dark, and one that is difficult to forget.
- VG / Verdens Gang, Norway (national newspaper) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Click for more REVIEWS of "Harpiks" (mostly in Danish)
THE UK PRESS - ABOUT RESIN
Five star review in THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
JAKE KERRIDGE: "It reminded me of Stephen King at his best: creepy as hell, but with compassion for every character, however misguided."
Five star review in THE DAILY EXPRESS
Jon Coates: "One of the most remarkable books I've read for a very long time ... This book of the year contender"
“Resin has the gruesomely compelling quality of a Brothers Grimm fairytale ...
It’s an extraordinarily atmospheric and often harrowing study of obsession and possessive love."
National UK newspaper The Guardian includes RESIN af one of the best recent thrillers. Review by Laura Wilson (Aug 17. 2018).
Go to: Review in The Guardian
“Deliciously macabre.. "
Shortly after publication day national paper The Observer picked Resin as one of the standout thrillers of the month. Review by Alison Flood. (Aug 11. 2018).
Go to: Review in The Observer
THE DAILY MAIL
"A moving tale of a love that morphs into madness."
Review by Geoffrey Wansell in The Daily Mail (August 16. 2018).
Go to: Review in The Daily Mail
"Resin expertly navigates a wealth of themes – obsession, grief, love, and innocence and childhood – and binds them together in a cleverly crafted, gripping tale. Addictive, brutal and honest, Resin is an emotional rollercoaster." (Review in The Skinny)
THE I PAPER
“An unsettling story about a family in trouble and the lengths a father will go to protect his daughter.”
THE UK READERS – ABOUT RESIN
All the stars and then some!
You know when you watch a scary movie and you really don't want to look, well, "Resin" made me feel like that but for some inexplicable strange reason I COULDN'T tear my eyes away! Such a hauntingly creepy, chilling and disturbing story yet beautifully atmospheric and at times emotional and tender.
I'm not too sure there's much I can say about the storyline without giving much away other than what the blurb tells you, which leaves you completely intrigued and desperate to read but the fact that I have never read anything like it EVER before makes it a unique and very original read that packs a punch around every corner.
The characters are brilliant, disliking them one minute but then feeling sorry for them soon after. Jens' character was particularly well thought out and I could picture him so clearly. Young Liv was pivotal to the story and I enjoyed so much reading her thoughts and actions. When Roald entered the story, the mounting dread of what could happen when the house and family was discovered, kept me turning the pages and it didn't disappoint, creating an atmosphere of palpable tension.
There were a couple of triggers in the book, which although didn't effect me at all could to some - so if baby deaths and animal cruelty do upset you then best be warned. However, the issues were paramount to the story and in no way were meant to cause upset or distress and were handled perfectly.
So well written and imaginatively created, this book deserves all the awards it's had in Scandinavia and it's definitely a one which will continue to stay with me a very long time. After the tense conclusion to the book and the jaw dropping last page, I'm going to seriously miss this dark book in a warped way and I truly wish the author Ane Riel every success with this fabulously written book!
All the stars and then some!!
Left me gasping for air
I can't remember the last time a book actually left me almost gasping for air as I finished it. I hadn't realised that I'd been holding my breath the whole time I was reading it! Of course that's not completely true, but it is how I felt! Resin is mesmerising, engrossing, immersive and unlike anything else I think I have ever read. It's just incredible. (Am I gushing too much?)
Resin is almost impossible to review because I really don't want to give anything away to potential readers - and if you like an intense thriller, you Need this novel on your TBR. In fact, I'd say, skip the TBR stage and go straight to Purchase-and-Read! I loved the setting, the characters, the storyline and the sheer unexpectedness of pretty much every page. Resin is almost unreal, yet heart-breakingly real on every page and its translation is first class. Praise I feel is as much due to Charlotte Barslund as Ane Riel because, other than the Danishness of the whole book, I easily forgot I was reading in translation.
Resin is dark and shocking, yet it is also full of a warped love that is strangely heartwarming. I haven't felt as steamrollered by a book since The Dollmaker and I can't see how any other could beat Resin to be my Book Of The Month. I suspect it might also become my Book Of The Year. It's that good!
Review by Stephanie Jane (Goodreads)
A really wonderful book
Translated from the Danish, Ane Riel’s novel is a deeply disturbing, yet hypnotically engaging, story of family, of loss and of preserving memories. It would be unkind to give away any of the twists and turns of the plot, but the basic premise is this: Jens and Maria live on a tiny peninsula, keeping themselves apart from the rest of the world. Their daughter Liv dies when she is six years old; at least that’s what they tell the authorities, to stop the possibility of her being taken away. In ever increasing horror we witness the events unfold, mostly through the child’s viewpoint but also through the letters of the mother, so obese she is confined to her bed and having lost the ability to talk. It is only when the pub landlord Roald, having become suspicious and wondering who the child is, wanders onto the headland that we see though his eyes the true nightmare of the state of the cottage and its land. What unfolds then hurtles the book towards its end.
This is an unsettling, bruising book. I found myself at times almost reading through my fingers as the story moves towards its climax. And right up to the last sentence the book keeps its surprises coming. The metaphor of the resin tapped from the trees by Jens and his daughter becomes one of how we preserve memories, how we can literally capture time – in the same way that an old hourglass is stored horizontally so that time is stopped. I was reminded of two books as I was reading this: ‘Room’, with its focus on how we see a confined space through the eyes of a child; and ‘The Wasp Factory’, with its androgynous central character and troubling violence.
I suspect this book will live with me for a while – some scenes are genuinely disquieting. But it is gripping, and I cared about the characters. Liv’s mother writes in one of her letters: ‘I don’t know whether to call our life a fairy tale or a horror story. Perhaps it’s a bit of both. I hope that you can see the fairy tale.’ A really wonderful book.
Review by Alan (Goodreads)
A fairy tale or horror story. Perhaps it’s a bit of both?’ (Resin - Ane Riel)
Resin is quite simply a book like no other. Harrowing and yet beautiful, haunting and yet darkly compulsive.
The story is largely told through the eyes of Liv - her young voice is utterly mesmerising, her innocence and acceptance of events as they unfold serving to intensify and accentuate the horror that we feel as our adult minds convert them into their hideous reality.
As we learn more about the life of her father, Jens Horder, the prose is almost lilting - thus enhancing the folklore feel and lulling you into a cocooned state of comfort before it creeps up behind you and delivers its next deeply unsettling blow.
The remoteness of the location and the sense of place are so cleverly brought to life that Liv’s whole world surrounded me as I read. The isolation from the mainland heightening the chill that swept over my skin as the wind whistled through the forest and as I continued to turn page after page.
I finished Resin within 24 hours but have a feeling that it’s startlingly original themes will stay with me for much longer.
Review by Stef L (Goodreads)
Just read it, it's wonderful
What an amazing novel, sad, disturbing and yet very beautiful at times. It’s a book that just takes you over and at times you are lost in the wonderful writing, a book that will stay with me for a long time. Very well recommended and 5+ stars ..just read it it’s wonderful.
Review by Kat (Goodreads)
Completely gripping, utterly compelling
"The first chapter of this book both horrified me and hooked me in. Even just the first sentence really had me thinking ‘whaaat?!’ This author really knows how to suck you in! [ ]
This book, despite its shocking content is beautifully written. The depictions of the landscapes are very evocative and descriptive. The house itself is described in all its horrific shocking detail. The sheer filth and dangerous neglect of the property, you can almost feel like you are there trapped inside. So claustrophobic and atmospheric.
The ending of this story actually left me a little bit breathless. One of those where you close the book and immediately need to talk to someone, anyone about what on Earth you have just read. Honestly this book will definitely be in my top 5 books of the year. Completely gripping, utterly compelling. "
Full review (Bookish Chat)
To check out what the readers from various countries are saying about Resin/Harpiks on instagram, twitter etc use hashtags: #resinbook #harpiks #aneriel
HARPIKS on goodreads (Danish & various translations)
RESIN on goodreads (Harpiks in English translation)
Swedish, Norwegian, Slovakian, Japanese, Finnish and Estonian editions of Resin
RESIN - The movie!
Film rights for 'Resin' have been bought by the film company ZENTROPA – the company of film director Lars von Trier & Peter Aalbæk Jensen.
Filming has begun in August 2018.
THE GLASS KEY 2016
Best Nordic Suspense Novel of the Year (Resin)
HARPIKS has been awarded the best nordic suspense novel of the year for which I've recieved 'The Glass Key 2016'. The list of previous award winners includes: Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbø, Jussi Adler Olsen, Håkon Nesser, Peter Høeg, Karin Alvtegen, Henning Mankell a.o.
Somebody, pinch me!
"Resin is written with a mischievous and whimsical élan, as well as solidarity with its characters, especially the oddballs and the anti- socials. There is actually a lot of amusement in this tragic story. Resin is written in the fertile borderland between strict genre and originality, the beloved cliché and the new code. Or what Umberto Eco calls the good balance in all good literature; the known is what is already seen and the chocking is what is unkown. It is in this borderland that the best thrillers are and where prizes are won." – Extract from the award ceremony speach by Bo Tao Michaëlis
RESIN WINS 'THE GOLDEN BULLET' IN NORWAY
'Gullkulen' or 'The Golden Bullet' was founded in 2017 at the Crimefestival in Oslo. It is awarded to the best translated crimenovel from the previous year.
On March 8th 2018 it was revealed that Resin was this year's winner!
The other nominees were Joseph Knox (UK), Peter May (UK), Camilla Grebe (Sweden) and Malin Persson Giolito (Sweden).
The book was translated by Cecilie Winger and published by Aschehoug in Norway.
RESIN WINS AWARD IN SWEDEN
In december it was announced that Resin was awarded the best crime/suspense novel in Swedish translation. The book has been translated by Helena Ridelberg and was published by Modernista in Sweden.
The other nominees were Flynn Berry, Bill Beverly, Ray Celestin og Karin Slaughter.
The jury's motivation: 'An absurd an surprisingly comical tragedy'
The Niels Matthiasen's Memorial Award
On April 25th 2016 I was awarded with the prestigious Danish culture prize 'The Niels Matthiasens Memorial Award' (Niels Matthiasens Mindelegat). The prize ceremony took place in the Ministry of Culture in Copenhagen.
The award has been named after Niels Matthiasen, the very popular long-term minister of culture of Denmark who served from 1971 to 1973 and from 1975 to 1980.
The list of previous award recipients includes national icons like musicians Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Palle Mikkelborg and Michala Petri, actress Ghita Nørby, writer Benny Andersen, film director Thomas Vinterberg and architect Jørn Utzon. It goes without saying I'm dead proud to see my name among them.
’’[Ane Riel has] manifested herself as an author of unique talent, extraordinary courage and a rare imagination. Along with her command of the subtleties of language, she has positioned herself at the forefront of her genre in record time. She is clearly not a “one hit wonder”. With an imagination bordering on the grotesque and her exceptional writing style, she has forged a universe entirely of her own making.’’
– from the jury of the Grant in Memorial of Niels Matthiasen
The Harald Mogensen Award 2016
Best Danish Suspense Novel of the Year (Resin)
Here I am on stage trying to say something incredibly funny after having recieved the most prestigious Danish crime fiction award for 'Harpiks'.
There IS something comical (I think) about recieving a crime award for a novel I never considered a crime novel myself. Especially since it's happened to me before ...
Best Crime/Suspense Debut Novel of the Year 2014 (The Butcher of Liseleje)
In 2014 my debut novel from 2013 was awarded 'The Best Suspense Debut Novel of the Year' by the Danish Crime Academy.
The photos are taken in the former Horsens State Prison where the largest crime fiction festival of Northern Europe is taking place every year. Contrary to what you may think there is a wonderful atmosphere – and they let you out of there. :)
The Danish Broadcasting Company's Best Novel Award 2016
I was extremely proud to be among the three finalists for this fine literary award, the other finalists being renowned writers Carsten Jensen and Ida Jessen.
Ida Jessen won with her absolutely wonderful novel 'En ny tid'.
Resin took 2nd place ... only 1 jury vote from the winner. :)
SLAGTEREN I LISELEJE / THE BUTCHER OF LISELEJE
SLAGTEREN I LISELEJE (The Butcher of Liseleje)
Published by Tiderne Skifter, 2013
My first novel was published by Tiderne Skifter in September 2013. It has recieved great reviews in leading Danish newspapers and has also been featured in a couple of national TV-shows here in Denmark.
In the Spring of 2014 it was awarded Best Danish Suspense Debut of the Year by The Danish Crime Academy - a great surprise since it wasnt sold and presented as a crime novel and the author never thought of the book as such.
In 2015 I was representing Denmark at The European First Novel Festival / Budapest Literature Festival.
The novel has been sold to Norway (Aschehoug) and Germany (Btb Verlag/Randomhouse) at auction.
The German edition, titled "Blutwurst & Zimtschecken", was published on June 13th 2016 and categorized as a crime novel unlike the Danish edition. Scroll down for reviews in German.
At the heart of a collection of oddballs and misfits in the small seaside town of Liseleje is Judith, charming and generous, who regales the rather more down-at-heel characters of the town with cognac and nightly dinners. It turns out, though, that Judith's hospitality is promted not by sisterly love, but by loathing. (Danish Literary Magazine)
Scroll down for reviews of the German edition (in German!)
THE BUTCHER OF LISELEJE in German
The German version of 'The Butcher of Liseleje' was published on June 13. 2016 by btb Verlag / Randomhouse.
The book is called 'Blutwurst und Zimtschnecken' and is presented as a crime novel (unlike the Danish edition).
[...] Dies ist ein äußerst skurriler, ungewöhnlicher Krimi mit hohem Unterhaltungswert. Die genaue Beschreibung der einzelnen Charaktere mit einem sehr humorvollen, schmunzelnden Unterton macht das Lesen zum Genuss. Absolut empfehlenswert! [...] Read the full review by Angelika Steinhäuser at www.norwegenportal.de
Es ist ein fulminanter Einstieg, der Ane Riel in die Welt der "Erwachsenenliteratur" gelungen ist. Mit scharfem aber zugleich sehr warmem Blick skizziert sie die Szenerie. Landschaft, Pflanzen, Häuser, Orte und natürlich Menschen werden detailreich und interessant beschrieben.
Ob es um „die Rentierflechte, die am Waldboden leuchtete wie verirrte Sonnenflecken“ oder um Schrullen und Charakterzüge selbst von Nebenfiguren geht - Ane Riel entwirft Bilder, in die man gern eintaucht. [... ] Read the full review at Amazon.de
Toll. Super super. Die Geschichte ist humorvoll, spannend, grausam, lehrreich, phasenweise böse aber auch liebevoll. Man sollte es unbedingt gelesen haben. Amazon.de
Wunderbar! Unvorhersehbar, gruselig ohne Alpträume zu verursachen, weitestgehend unblutig, davor psychisch herausfordernd. [...] Read the full review at Franziskas Bücherblog
[...] Ane Riel muss in ihrer Geschichte weit ausholen. Zum allgemeinen Verständnis, zumindest wenn sich die erste Verwirrung gelegt hat, kann und muss man ihr in ihren umfangreichen Rückblenden folgen. Und falls dies nicht gelingt, kann man sich, völlig unabhängig davon, zunächst an ihrer herzerfrischend-geistreichen Metaphorik erfreuen. Vielleicht ist dies auch der einzig richtige Weg, denn von Anfang an ahnen Leserinnen und Leser nichts Gutes. Deshalb kann es nur froh und heiter stimmen, erst einmal Land und Leute und überhaupt die ganze, mit Worten gemalte, Stimmung in Liseleje und Umgebung kennenzulernen, bevor sich Abgründe auftun, die man so auf keinen Fall erwartet hat!
Read the full review at Randomhouse
Sehr dänisch - sehr gut!
Read / listen to the review on krimikiste.com
Reviewed by Dieter Bromund in SeereisenMagazin:
Copenhagen Literary Agency / News
Danish Literary Magazine (Autumn 2015)
A biannual magazine with the main aim to provide foreign publishers, literary agents and translators with information on trends in Danish literature and on the various forms of literary funding available from the Danish Arts Foundation.
My book is presented on page 12 in the latest issue. Click here to read the magazine (Autumn 2015)