Share 4 Questions for the Editor of A MAN CALLED OVE

4 Questions for the Editor of A MAN CALLED OVE

We are passionate readers who love nothing more than discovering fantastic books and sharing them with friends. We recommend books that move us to laughter and tears—and everything in between. Trust us when we say, "You've got to read this!"

In preparation for our Facebook Live Book Club discussion of A MAN CALLED OVE, Off the Shelf goes behind the scenes to talk to Peter Borland, the editor of Fredrik Backman’s beloved bestselling novel.

When did you know you wanted to publish A MAN CALLED OVE? What made you want to buy this novel?

I acquired A MAN CALLED OVE when only about 50 pages had been translated into English, and I don’t read Swedish. It’s rare that I acquire a first novel from a partial manuscript, but there was something so wonderfully infuriating about Ove that I felt pretty certain I’d enjoy spending another two hundred pages in his company. Ove fights with everyone he encounters, but only because principles matter to him just as much in little things as they do in big things. I guess I acquired the book because I believed in Ove.

Did you ever expected that A MAN CALLED OVE would be so successful in the United States?

Every time I acquire a book, I believe and hope it will sell—to be a book editor is to be an eternal optimist.  But no, I never dreamed we’d sell more than two million copies of A MAN CALLED OVE in the U.S. alone.  I’m an optimist, not a crazy person.  The book’s immense popularity is a tribute to the power of Fredrik’s storytelling, and to how deeply people relate to the Ove character. 

What’s your favorite part of the novel?

Sometimes I’ll hear people say they love the book because of how Ove changes over the course of the novel.  But that’s not true.  What’s remarkable about the book is that Ove doesn’t change at all.  Not even a little bit.  Instead, once we learn his backstory and understand why he is the way he is, we change—and we fall in love with him.

How much Swedish have you learned throughout your time publishing Fredrik Backman?

Sadly, my Swedish is still non-existent.  Fredrik, like most of his fellow Scandinavians, speaks perfect English, which makes it far too easy for the rest of us not to broaden our language skills.  However, after accompanying Fredrik for a week on his US book tour, his Atria publicist returned to New York with an enviable command of Swedish curse words! 

Read the full review of A MAN CALLED OVE.

Check out these 13 Books to Read After You’ve Read A MAN CALLED OVE.


A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman

“If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove (it’s pronounced “Oo-vuh,” if you were wondering).”

A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman

“If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove (it’s pronounced “Oo-vuh,” if you were wondering).”

MENTIONED IN:

Here’s Why Our Book Club Loved A MAN CALLED OVE

By Something to Read About | November 11, 2017

4 Questions for the Editor of A MAN CALLED OVE

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 7, 2017

13 Most Shelved Books on Off the Shelf in 2016

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 13, 2016

12 Good Books That Get Us Through Hard Times

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 17, 2016

It’s Our Birthday!

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 22, 2016

While the Cat’s Away: 13 Books About Our Favorite Felines

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 28, 2016

Close

Thank you for joining our email list!

If you create and Off the Shelf account, you'll be able to save books to your personal bookshelf, and be eligible for free books and other good stuff.

Click here to create your free account.

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.