The Man Behind ‘A Man Called Ove’

The novel’s protagonist, Ove, is a lonely curmudgeon who screams at his neighbors for parking in the wrong place and punches a hospital clown whose magic tricks annoy him. Six months after his wife’s death, he’s planning to commit suicide and has turned off his radiators, canceled his newspaper subscription and anchored a hook into the ceiling to hang himself. But he keeps getting interrupted by his clueless, prying neighbors. He strikes up a friendship with an Iranian immigrant and her two young daughters, who find Ove’s grumpiness endearing.

Once it became clear that there was an appetite for Mr. Backman’s quirky misanthrope, Atria asked Mr. Backman if he was working on any other novels. As it turned out, he’d already written several more.