Crime writer Jo Nesbo added to Emirates Literature Festival line-up

The Norwegian author has sold more than 45 million books in 50 languages

Recognised for broadening the scope of modern crime and thriller fiction, Norwegian author Jo Nesbo’s books have sold more than 45 million copies in 50 languages. Emirates Litfest
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Crime writer Jo Nesbo is coming to Dubai's Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in February. Known for broadening the scope of modern crime and thriller fiction, the Norwegian author has sold more than 45 million books in 50 languages.

Festival director Ahlam Bolooki says Nesbo is one of the biggest names in his genre. "If you Google Nordic noir authors, Jo Nesbo is one of the first names you'll see," Bolooki says. "Over the past 20 years, Jo has quietly been conquering the world with his wonderfully flawed, complex characters and dark, chilling tales of unspeakable crimes. I can't wait to hear him speak at the festival and to get a small insight into the brilliant mind that has captivated and frightened millions of readers all around the world." 

Nesbo, who will speak at the festival on Wednesday, February 8, is one of the world's biggest-selling crime writers, with several of his novels topping the Sunday Times bestseller charts. For many readers, Nesbo's protagonist Harry Hole is the ultimate anti-hero.

"Many authors know how to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Jo Nesbo's one of the few who keeps them there," fellow festival author and crime writer Linwood Barclay says.

Speaking on Saturday, February 8, Nesbo will join more than 150 international and local authors at the festival.

The crime strand also includes Mai Jia, arguably the most successful writer in China today, Killing Eve creator Luke Jennings, Stuart Turton, author of mind-bending Agatha-Christie-meets-Groundhog-Day-style crime thriller The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and domestic noir author Karen Osman.

The festival will run from Tuesday to Sunday, February 4 to 9, at the InterContinental Dubai in Festival City.

Speakers include Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri, the winner of the 2019 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, Hoda Barakat, 2018 Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Esi Edugyan, British explorers Ranulph Fiennes and Chris Bonington, and TV chef Nadiya Hussain.

"I am humbled by the incredible writers who give up their time to share their passion with us and our diverse community," Bolooki says. "These writers are all veritable superstars in their genres and I recommend booking quickly before tickets sell out."

For more information and tickets, visit