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 […]

Nesbø and NRK end collaboration

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) has canned production of a four-year, multi-million dollar television series created by the multi-talented Norwegian author Jo Nesbø. With a budget of NOK 80 million,  Okkupert (Occupied) was set to be one of the most ambitious and expensive TV productions made in Norway. NRK was due to start production in autumn, and premiere […]

Language creator hailed and decried

Ivar Aasen would have been 200 years old on Monday, and his bicentennial was being both celebrated and pilloried. That’s because Aasen created or “found” Norway’s second official language, nynorsk, seen as both a cultural enrichment and a pest for uninterested teenagers forced to study it. Aasen is the son of a small-time farmer in […]

Nesbø fans in Hole heaven, once again

Is it a new Harry Potter release?  Another bizarre Norwegian festival? The return of Elvis? No —it’s Jo Nesbø’s new novel. On Thursday, one second past midnight, it hits the stores, some of which are open all night for this strange occasion. Fans of Jo Nesbø and his cop character Harry Hole are likely to line […]