Norway hails rebel-author Bjørneboe

KRISTIANSAND: Norwegians are marking 100 years of their controversial author Jens Bjørneboe (1920-1976), who spent much of his brief but noisy life challenging authorities and conventions with memorable passion. Special events honouring Bjørneboe have been taking place around the country all year, culminating on October 9, which would have been Bjørneboe’s 100th birthday. Even his native […]

Oslo opens ‘largest bookshelf’ to visitors

It’s been in the works for more than a decade, enduring controversy, unforeseen building problems, budget overruns and a pandemic. On June 18th Oslo’s new main library was finally opening to the public, under the new name Deichman Bjørvika. Close to NOK 2.5 billion has gone into the project, which Oslo’s City government at one […]

‘Outsider king’ remains readers’ darling

Author Ingvar Ambjørnsen has been called a king of outsiders, skillfully governing his expanding world of less fortunate, downtrodden characters through a writing career that spans four decades. Now he’s back with the most successful outsider of them all: A lonely, reclusive, neurotic, opinionated, detail-obsessed fellow by the name of Elling, who now is having […]

Norway grabs the literary spotlight

Norway’s biggest and most expensive promotional event ever was finally playing out in Frankfurt this week, after months of preparation. The country has spent tens of millions of kroner to be the so-called “guest of honour” at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and was clearly relishing the literary and cultural spotlight. “The Book Fair in Frankfurt […]

‘Culture shapes a democracy’

Norway’s government minister in charge of culture, Trine Skei Grande, said she felt like it was her birthday, Christmas and the 17th of May (Norway’s national day) all at once: For the first time in 15 years, she’d be presenting the framework for national cultural policy for the future, and set off debate at the […]

Literature lauded in Lillehammer

Authors and artists from 24 countries were gathering in Lillehammer this week for the 23rd annual literature festival, the largest to be held in the Nordic countries. Freedom of expression was a central theme, even as Norway’s own culture minister ignored it in China just last week. Culture Minister Linda Hofstad Helleland was under heavy […]

Royal opening for literature festival

Crown Princess Mette-Marit set off on her second annual literary train ride on Tuesday and then opened a literature festival in Lillehammer. For the former single mother who didn’t go to college until after she’d married into the royal family, her new passion for sharing books is nothing less than an awakening. Mette-Marit herself claims she […]

Pussy Riot makes the rounds in Norway

Two members of the Russian activist group Pussy Riot have been making a string of public appearances in Norway recently, at both human rights meetings and cultural events. Now they’ve also had a chat with Prime Minister Erna Solberg, as the annual Bergen International Festival got underway. Solberg met Nadezjda Tolokonnikova and Maria Aljokhina during […]

Nesbø all over page, stage and screen

Prolific Norwegian author Jo Nesbø released his latest crime novel Sønnen (The Son) this week, a mere nine months after putting out his last book. Hollywood stars are already clamouring to turn it into a movie, he has several other film and TV adaptions in the works, has signed on to retell Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and both […]

Nesbø swaps tomes for tunes

International best-selling crime author. Singer, songwriter and guitarist. Writer of film and television scripts and children’s books. A-league footballer. Successful stockbroker. Norwegian Jo Nesbø has ticked more off his bucket list than most people ever dream of. Now, 20 years after the release of his band Di Derre’s hit single Jenter (Girls), Nesbø is putting down his pen […]