Graham Greene once called Norway ‘a little patch of careless culture at the edge of the sea and of the forest’, and before 22 July 2011, that was how we felt – tucked away at the top of the world, inconspicuous and insignificant, the dangers playing out on the world stage always seemed a long … Continue reading One of us?
Det er ikke bare i Norge forfattere tyr til romanen for å skrive om egne erfaringer. Her er tre engelske forfattere som har utmerket seg med sine romanprosjekter de siste tre årene. Ali Smith – ÅrstidskvartettenDe siste årenes absurde politiske utvikling ser ut til å ha gitt grobunn for bøker skrevet i sanntid, en slags … Continue reading Reality Check: Møter med engelske forfattere
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of autofiction over the past five years has led English readers to wonder whether their understanding of the novel is outdated, Norwegian readers, who are far more … Continue reading Autofiction at war: why ‘revenge novels’ are taking off in Norway
It is always strange when a foreign book published more than 20 years ago is suddenly picked up by an English-language publisher and goes on to receive rave reviews. This happened recently with the book Love by Hanne Ørstavik, a Norwegian author who, with numerous novels, essays and short stories under her belt, has long … Continue reading Love hurts
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.’
Peer Gynt er kanskje det av Ibsens stykker som er vanskeligst å sette opp i utlandet, men David Hares skotske nytolkning gjør tittelkarakterens selvopptatthet brennaktuell Ibsen settes opp som aldri før i London, i stadige nye former og variasjoner. Bare det siste året har det vært et forsøk på å skape #metoo-debatt i Vildanden, en … Continue reading Trolls all love to party
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?
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 When Tarjei Vesaas got lost in translation
It feels timely for Norwegian historian and biographer Ivo de Figueiredo’s postcolonial family chronicle to be published in English on the eve of Brexit. A Stranger at My Table is de Figueiredo’s autobiographical account of a family history that spans two centuries and four continents, and the result is an ambitious amalgam; an exploration of … Continue reading Fathers and sons
In a 2014 interview with Vogue, the Norwegian writer and journalist Linn Ullmann was asked what she was currently working on. “I am writing a memoir”, she replied, “or at least I thought it was a memoir. But since my memory is both very vivid and not entirely reliable, it could just as well be … Continue reading A luminous novel-cum-memoir