Norwegian Literature Abroad

P.O. Box 1414 Vika
NO-0115 Oslo

Tel: +47 23 08 41 00

Visiting address:
Observatoriegaten 1B, 3rd fl.

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Olga Drobot receives the prestigious Russian translator's prize “Master”

NORLA offers its warmest congratulations to translator Olga Drobot on her receiving the The Russian Translator’s Society prize for the best translation in 2014. The prize was awarded in December, and Olga Drobot was chosen as the winner in category for prose, for her translation of Rune Belsvik’s "Dustefjerten". The book about Dustefjerten, who is named “Prostodursen” in Russian, is published by Samokat Publishing House, through translation subsidies from NORLA.

Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse introduced for Chinese readers

For the first time, Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse’s works have been translated into Chinese.
The milestone was marked by the international Jon Fosse festival (Fosse’s Blossoms) in Shanghai in November, staging five of his plays from five different countries – Russia, India, Italy, Iran and China.

Arts Council Norway's Honorary Award to Jan Erik Vold

NORLA warmly congratulates poet, author and translator Jan Erik Vold on his receiving Arts Council Norway's Honorary Award 2014.

Read more about Jan Erik Vold here.

Read more about Arts Council Norway's Honorary Award (in Norwegian) here.

Per Petterson's "I Refuse" one of the top titles of the year in the UK

NORLA congratulates Per Petterson on the enthusiastic praise of his novel “I Refuse” ("Jeg nekter") in the English speaking world.
The Guardian describes the novel as "a masterful study of time", and also includes it on its list of the best books of the year.
The novel is also chosen as one of the best books of the year by Paul Binding in TLS, Times Literary Supplement.

"I Refuse" is translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and published by Harvill Secker.

Read the list of the best books of the year according to The Guardian here.

Read the review of the book in The Guardian here.

Lars Mytting wins the 2014 Norwegian Booksellers' Prize

NORLA offers its warmest congratulations to Lars Mytting on his receiving the 2014 Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize. The prize is awarded for his critically accliamed novel «The Flame Birches» (original title: Svøm med dem som drukner).

Read more about the novel - and an English sample translation - here.

And read more about The Norwegian Booksellers' Prize and see previous winners here.

Linn Ullmann’s «The Cold Song» - among the top titles of the year in the USA

Linn Ullmann’s highly praised novel “The Cold Song” (original title) was published in the US in the spring of 2014, and the novel is now appearing on several “Best books of the year”-listings. In The New York Times Book review “ The Cold Song” is one of the “100 notable books of 2014”. The novel is also featured on the Independent Bookstore’s list of the 50 best books of the year, and Kirkus Reviews list of the best fiction of the year.

The book is translated from the Norwegian by Barbara J. Haveland and published through translation subsidy from NORLA.

See the listings below:

Three Norwegian authors long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2015

All of three Norwegian authors are long-listed for the prestigious IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2015, based on the votes of librarians from 39 countries. All of us at NORLA congratulate Gaute Heivoll, Ingrid Storholmen and Karl Ove Knausgård (who has been nominated for the third time).

NORLA congratulates the winners of the 2014 Brage Prize

The winners are:

Rune Christiansen:
The Loneliness in Lydia Erneman’s Life
(Ensomheten i Lydia Ernemans liv, Oktober)

Marte Michelet: The Ulitmate Crime
(Den største forbrytelsen, Gyldendal)

Open class: short stories and essays
Ingvild H. Rishøi: Winter Stories
(Vinternoveller, Gyldendal)

Books for children and young adults
Annette Münch: Badboy: Steroid
(Cappelen Damm)
Read more (in Norwegian)

Honorary award
Author Vigdis Hjort
Read more (in Norwegian)

Read more about the Brage Prize, and see previous winners, here.

Waffle Hearts shortlisted for the 2015 Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation

Maria Parr's popular first novel Waffle Hearts is shortlisted for the 2015 Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation and NORLA offers its warmest congratulations to the book's translator Guy Puzey and to Maria Parr!

The Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation seeks to address a situation in the UK in which less than 3% of work published for children and young people has been from the non-English speaking world.

The Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize 2014 is awarded BROWN (Brune)

NORLA excitedly congratulates the author Håkon Øvreås and illustrator Øyvind Torseter on being awarded the prestigious Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize 2014 for their book BROWN (Brune).
The charming book has harvested wonderful reviews, several prizes and foreign rights have so far been sold to seven languages.

And the best news is: the author and illustrator are planning more books about the underdog superhero Brown and his friends!

Read more about the book (and a sample translation in English) here.

Eight Norwegian authors and illustrators candidates for the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

NORLA offers its warmest congratulations to the eight Norwegian candidates for the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial award, the world's largest international children's and young adult literature award.
The candidates were announced during the Frankfurt Book Fair. 197 candidates from 16 countries were nominated. Among these are eight Norwegian authors/illustrators:

Author Tor Åge Bringsværd
Author Gro Dahle and illustrator Svein Nyhus
Author Harald Rosenløw Eeg
Author Marit Kaldhol
Illustrator Gry Moursund
Author and illustrator Lisa Aisato N’jie Solberg
Illustrator Øyvind Torseter

Hanne Ørstavik receives the 2014 Transylvania International Literature Festival prize

NORLA congratulates Hanne Ørstavik on receiving the 2014 Transylvania International Literature Festival prize, for her highly acclaimed novel Love. The novel was published in Romanian by Univers Publishing House in 2012 with translation subsidy from NORLA. The book is translated from the Norwegian by Aurora Kanbar and Erling Schöller.

"Love" was published in Norway in 1997, and has received much praise both here and abroad. The rights to the book have been sold to no less than 15 countries.
Read more from the award ceremony here.

Knut Ødegård receives prestigious Serbian Poetry Award

NORLA congratulates Knut Ødegård on winning the International Poet Award of the 39th Smederevo International Festival of Poetry 2014, in Serbia. Alongside the award he received the key to the city of Smederevo.

According to the Norwegian embassy in Serbia, Knut Ødegård’s works have been translated to around 30 languages, and he is the most widely translated Norwegian contemporary poet.

When asked what he thinks might be the reason he has been translated to such a large amount of languages, Ødegård himself stated that “I write about what is common for all human beings, all over the world. The local becomes universal if you pursue it far enough”.

Read more about Ødegård and the award here.

Read more about Knut Ødegård and hear some of his poetry here.

IDA, the non-fiction book for children, wins yet another French award

NORLA wishes to congratulate Jørn Hurum, Torstein Helleve and Esther van Hulsen on recieving the Prix de littérature jeunesse l’échappée lecture for the illustrated non-fiction children’s book “Ida”.
The award, organized by the Library of Nièvre, brought together more than 3,800 young readers. “Ida” was voted the winner alongside Åsa Lind and Violaine Leroy’s “The Sand Wolf”.
"Ida" is translated from the Norwegian by Jean-Baptiste Coursaud, and published by Albin Michelle Jeunesse through translation and production grants from NORLA.

The book has previously been awarded "Les Prix La Science se Livre, catégorie adolescents". Read more.

Read more about the French edition here.

Read more about “Ida” in English here.

Knausgård on The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014 shortlist

NORLA congratulates Karl Ove Knausgård on being shortlisted for the The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014.
Knausgård is shortlisted for his blockbuster novel 'A Man in Love', the only book shortlisted longer than 180 pages.
The book is translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and published by Harvill Secker through a translation grant from NORLA.

Read an excerpt from the US edition of 'A Man in Love', published by Archipelago Books here.

More about the Prize and previous winners here.

More about Karl Ove Knausgård.

The Norwegian Literary Critics' Prizes for Literature 2013

NORLA congratulates the winners of the 2013 Norwegian Literary Critics' Prizes for Literature:

Best fiction title:

Øyvind Rimbereid - 'Orgelsjøen' (Gyldendal).
Read more.

Best non-fiction title:

Alf van der Hagen 'Dag Solstad. Uskrevne memoarer' (Oktober).
Read more (in Norwegian).

Best title for children/young adults:

Gyrid Axe Øvsteng and Per Ragnar Møkleby (ill.) - 'Førstemamma på Mars' (Samlaget).
Read more (in Norwegian).

Best translation:

Turid Farbregd - Katja Kettu 'Jordmoren' (from Finnish).

Literary Critic of the Year 2013:

Bernhard Ellefsen, Morgenbladet.

Read more about the Norwegian Literary Critics' Prizes here

Norwegian picture book wins the BolognaRagazzi Award Opera Prima

NORLA offers its warmest congratulations to author Yulia Horst and illustrator Daria Rychkova. Their picture book 'Tails Throughout Time' (Halens historie) has won the 2014 BolognaRagazzi Award in the category Opera Prima, an award devoted to works by new authors and illustrators.

Stein Erik Lunde honoured by the 2013 Batchelder Award

NORLA congratulates Stein Erik Lunde on his book 'My Father’s Arms Are a Boat' being honoured by the 2013 Batchelder Award. The book is illustrated by Øyvind Torseter and originally published in Norwegian as 'Eg kan ikkje sove no' (Samlaget, 2008).

'My Father’s Arms Are A Boat' is translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson, and published by Enchanted Lion Books.

Norway to digitize all books and offer them as free downloads

The Norwegian National Library (Nasjonalbiblioteket) is planning to digitize all the books it holds and make them available to Norwegians for free. According to the Library's policy users should be able to enjoy access to a large variety of digital content from wherever they are located, and whenever they want.
Read more
This policy has attracted a lot of attention in foreign media. Read more

Children's Literature

Literature for children and young people has evolved greatly since it first emerged as an independent genre during the 1700s.

Contemporary Literature

Norwegian contemporary literature has gained a popular following both at home and abroad.


Norways best-known playwright is Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906). Often called the father of the modern drama, Ibsen s works are said to have revolutionized the development of dramatic technique in Europe and the USA. His plays remain popular today, and are regularly performed throughout the world.
Read more

Norwegian Drama Now, 2013
The Writers Guild of Norway has recently published the catalogue 'Norwegian Drama Now'. The catalogue is published with the support of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has been sent to Norwegian embassies around the world.

Download the catalogue here.
Or order a copy here.

Translation grants regarding Norwegian dramatic works
The Writers’ Guild of Norway may award grants for the translation of Norwegian dramatic works to other languages.
In order to apply for a grant, you need confirmed interest from a producer/arranger or agent outside Norway and the services of a professional translator.
In addition to supporting translations with a view to full production, grants may also be awarded for the translation of works for promotional purposes or public readings and for the translation of synopses for presentation. Applications may be made by translator, writer or producer. The translation grant scheme is financed by NORLA – Norwegian Literature Abroad.

The primary purpose of the grant scheme is to contribute to the presentation/production of Norwegian drama abroad.
Read more

For the publication of Norwegian dramatic works (in book form), foreign publishers may apply to NORLA for a translation subsidy.
Read more


Norway enjoys a dynamic essay tradition extending back to the Danish-Norwegian author Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754).

Norwegian Literary Nobel Laureates

Between 1903 and 1928, three Norwegian authors were awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The works of these authors played a central role in establishing the basis for modern Norwegian literature.


Norwegian poetry dates back more than a thousand years to the Skaldic verse of the 9th century.

Scientific Literature

Scientific literature is the foundation of the academic world. Norwegian writings in this genre reflect the wide array of disciplines and research fields relevant to Norwegian academia.

Travel Literature

Norwegian travel literature has traditionally been linked to the discovery, exploration and conquering of inhospitable, difficult-to-access territories.

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