Wahl, Mats 1945–
Wahl, Mats 1945–
Born May 10, 1945, in Malmö, Sweden.
Nils Holgersson Medal, 1989; Nordiske Börnebogspriset, 1990; Augustpriset, 1993, for Vinterviken; ABF literaturpris, 1994; Janusz Korczak prize, 1994; Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, 1996; Kulturpriset Till Adam Brombergs minne, 2002.
Honungsdrömmen, Liberförlag (Stockholm, Sweden), 1980.
Vinterfå gel, 1981.
Förstå else och handling, 1982.
Guntzborg Jöntzon, 1982.
Halva sanningen, Raben & Sjögren (Stockholm, Sweden), 1984.
Husbonden (also see below), 1985.
Utbildning och klass, 1986.
Mannen som älskade kvinnor, 1986.
Den lackerade apan, 1986.
Anna—Carolinas krig, Bonniers (Stockholm, Sweden), 1986.
Skrinet, Carlsson (Stockholm, Sweden), 1986.
Jac Uppmuntraren, 1987.
Play It Again, 1987.
Maj Darlin, 1988.
Fanfars lajka, illustrated by Tord Nygren, translated as Grandfather's Laika, Lerner (Minneapolis, MN), 1990.
Kärlek i September, 1990.
Sagan om den lilla krå kodillen, 1990.
Därvarns resa, 1991.
Nå ra riktigt fina dar, 1992.
Vinterviken (title means "Winter Bay"; also see below), 1993.
I ballong över Stilla havet, 1994.
Lilla Marie, 1995.
Nu seglar Vasa, 1995.
Emma och Daniel—Mötet (title means "Emma and Daniel: The Meeting"; also see below), 1996.
De övergivna, 1997.
3 Pjäser, 1998.
(With Sven Nordqvist) Den långa resan, 1998.
Emma och Daniel: Kärleken, 1998.
Emma och Daniel: Resan, 1998.
Folket i Birka på vikingarnas tid, 1999.
Den osynlige, 2000, translated by Katerina E. Tucker as The Invisible, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2007.
Halva sanningen, 2001.
Så pa, 2001.
Svenska för idioter, 2003.
Å terkomst, 2005.
Den vilda drömmen, 2006.
På spaning efter växandets punkt (reader), Liberförlag (Stockholm, Sweden), 1978.
Konsten att undervisa (reader), Liberförlag (Stockholm, Sweden), 1979.
(Adaptor with Kjell Sundvall) Husbonden (television film; based on his novel), Tiger Film/SVT Drama, 1989.
(Adaptor with Sara Heldt) Vinterviken (screenplay; based on his novel), FilmTeknik/Svenska Fiminstitutet, 1996.
(Adaptor with Ingela Magner) Emma och Daniel—Mötet (screenplay; based on his novel), Sone Film/ Omega Film, 2003.
Writer for television, including for Sexton (miniseries, 1996.
Halva sanningen was adapted for film, 2001; Den osynlige was adapted as a film by Mick Davis, directed by Joel Bergvall, and produced by Nordisk Film Production, 2002; it was also adapted by Davis and Christne Roum as The Invisible, directed by David S. Goyer, 2007.
Well known as a writer for young people in his native Sweden, Mats Wahl published his first book in 1978 and his first novel, Honungsdrömmen, two years later. A prolific author, Wahl has continued to produce fiction at a steady rate, averaging a book per year since 1980. Several of his novels have been adapted for film by the author; in addition his 2000 novel Den osynlige was adapted for film twice, in versions for both Swedish and English-language audiences.
Den Osynlige—translated into English as The Invisible—is the story of Hilmer Eriksson, a fifteen-year-old high schooler living in rural Sweden. Although Hilmer is living what most readers would describe as a perfect life—a good student, he has a nice girlfriend and excels at several hobbies—things are not going as smoothly as some would think. A particular problem is caused by an angry classmate named Annie. One morning things go from annoying to strange, when Hilmer realizes that he has suddenly become invisible. Recognizing that this condition began during a bike ride to a neighboring town, Hilmer determines to make sense of the mystery, doing so by "haunting" Detective Harald Fors, the policeman who has been assigned to investigate the teen's disappearance. "The intriguing premise of this suspenseful novel will pull readers right into contemporary Sweden," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor, the critic also praising Wahl's use of a succinct text with shifting narratives to increase the plot's suspense. In what Booklist contributor Kathleen Odeon described as "skillful, understated prose," The Invisible reveals "the dark side of modern society" in a story Odeon characterized as "less a mystery than a human tragedy."
Wahl's award-winning 1993 novel Vinterviken focuses on John-John, a black boy who lives with his mother and stepfather in a Stockholm suburb. When the boy and friends rescue ten-year-old Patricia from a public pool, the girl's father rewards them by inviting them to his home in an affluent neighborhood. Here John-John meets Patricia's older sister, Elisabeth, and falls in love. The teen romance is constantly thwarted by Elizabeth's father, as well as by the many cultural differences in the worlds that the two teens inhabit. Part of a series of novels featuring two preteens, Emma och Daniel—Mötet introduces twelve-year old Emma, who lives in Lapland with her fisherman father Anders. In her home in northern Sweden, fishing occupies much of the girl's life and there is no electricity. When the widowed and lonely Anders invites Sara, a woman from Stockholm with whom he has been corresponding, to visit the family, Emma is upset. Even more upsetting is the fact that Sara is bringing her son Daniel, a boy Emma's age. Daniel is equally unenthusiastic about the visit: he misses his computer. When the two children join an elderly fisherman on a three-day fishing trip into the forest wilderness, tragedy follows, and they must join together in order to find their way back to civilization. Emma and Daniel's adventures continue in Emma och Daniel: Kärleken and Emma och Daniel: Resan; in addition, the first book in the popular trilogy was adapted for film by Wahl in 2003.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, March 15, 2007, Kathleen Odean, review of The Invisible, p. 45.
Publishers Weekly, February 5, 2007, review of The Invisible, p. 61.
School Library Journal, April, 2007, Shannon Seglin, review of The Invisible, p. 150.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2007, Heather Pittman, review of The Invisible, p. 58.