Autofiction at war: why ‘revenge novels’ are taking off in Norway

Bestselling authors Karl Ove Knausgaard and Vigdis Hjorth have had family members reply to their autobiographical books with their own. But where does it end? If the rise of autofiction over the past five years has led English readers to wonder whether their understanding of the novel is outdated, Norwegian readers, who are far more … Continue reading Autofiction at war: why ‘revenge novels’ are taking off in Norway

George Szirtes on the Nordic Poetry Festival: ‘The language in which you write should remain a little strange.’

The first ever Nordic Poetry Festival (NPF) took place in October this year. This ambitious debut spanned five events across three cities, and featured the work of 21 avant-garde Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic and Sami poets. One of these events, which took place at the National Centre for Writing in Norwich, saw the Nordic … Continue reading George Szirtes on the Nordic Poetry Festival: ‘The language in which you write should remain a little strange.’

Trolls all love to party – Peter Gynt at the National Theatre

In London, Ibsen is being staged as never before, in all shapes and forms. Last year there was an attempt at post-metoo debate in The Wild Duck at Almeida, a bilingual production of The Lady from the Sea, signed Kåre Conradi and The Norwegian Ibsen Company, and a brilliant adaptation of Rosmersholm at the Duke … Continue reading Trolls all love to party – Peter Gynt at the National Theatre

Nature or nurture? Both are examined thoroughly in Vigdis Hjorth’s best novel to date

After Knausgård, Norwegian readers thought we were used to the dramatic repercussions brought on by the thinly veiled autobiographical novel. Then, in 2016, Vigdis Hjorth’s Arv og Miljø, now translated as Will and Testament, detonated like a bomb. The book became deeply controversial, not so much because of its content as the debate it sparked. … Continue reading Nature or nurture? Both are examined thoroughly in Vigdis Hjorth’s best novel to date

A Norwegian masterpiece weighed down by its English translation

None other than Karl Ove Knausgård, Norway’s greatest literary export since Ibsen, has provided the endorsement quote on the reissued English edition of Tarjei Vesaas’s The Birds, stating that it is ‘the best Norwegian novel ever.’ Vesaas (1897-1970) is still considered one of the country’s most important writers, and is now deservedly being published in … Continue reading A Norwegian masterpiece weighed down by its English translation