Mikael Niemi was born in 1959 and grew up in the town of Pajala in the northern part of Sweden, the town which provides the setting for Popular Music. He is an established Swedish children's author, playwright and poet.
From the British reviews:'The novel I enjoyed most this year, without reservation, was Mikael Niemi's Popular Music, a coming-of-age story set in the Arctic in the 1960s. I really cannot think of anyone who would not enjoy this book... It is surreal, moving, life-affirming and hilariously funny.' Scarlett Thomas, Independent on Sunday 'Books of the Year''Profound and humorous at the same time, set in a remote town in northern Sweden, it recounts a childhood and youth with great imaginative verve, and is a delight from the first page to the last.' Alan Sillitoe, Independent 'Books of the Year''First, let me confess that I was asked to leave the British Library reading room for chuckling -- not once, but repeatedly -- over this book... Mikael Niemi combines the knowing warmth and vernacular style of, say, Nick Hornby or Roddy Doyle with a bittersweet poetry. Each chapter is a small parable, simple but oceans deep, so that frequently you find you are laughing while having tears in your eyes.' Glyn Brown, The Times'An extraordinary novel: hilarious, ribald, obscene... All the ingredients are there for a tender and bittersweet coming-of-age story: Roddy Doyle meets Fever Pitch. But then Mikael Niemi smashes into the memories he has assembled with his pulverising imagination... I've never read anything like it.' Nicci Gerrard, Observer'Hilariously tracks Matti's rise from the illicit and shocking pleasure of listening to a Beatles single to miming in the garage with a hardboard cut-out guitar... There are nuances to these rites of passage that recall Nick Hornby's High Fidelity...the astonishing success of Popular Music in Sweden confirms that this sardonic tale of terrible guitar-playing can strike a fresh, jaunty, even heartfelt, chord.' Independent