News from NORLA

Greetings from our Frankfurt team

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From the left (back row): Halldór Gudmundsson (Project Manager), Andrine Pollen (Coordinator Literary Programme), Marit Ingvill Sande (Coordinator Cultural Programme). From the left (front row): Ellen Trautmann Olerud (Project Assistant), Sunniva Adam (PR Officer) and Margit Walsø (Director). Photo: Dina Roll-Hansen

Now that things have calmed down after the Frankfurt Book Fair we are busy harvesting the fruits of a hectic week of meetings, idea development and establishing collaborations in preparation for Frankfurt 2019. In just a year’s time it will happen: Norway will take over the role as Guest of Honour after Georgia and we will embark on the most important year ever in the history of the export of Norwegian literature.

NORLA and the Frankfurt team had a wonderful week at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which reminded us just how significant this event is – both culturally and politically. The opening ceremony, in which Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron shared their thoughts about the role of literature and culture, was an inspiration.
Traffic was heavy at the shared Norwegian stand and it was quite clear that Norwegian publishing houses and agents were doing an excellent job of sending Norwegian literature out into the world. Our impressions from the fair remain with us as we work to make the most of the immense opportunities afforded by the role as Guest of Honour.

As part of our wider preparations for the cultural programme at Frankfurt 2019, we were accompanied to this year’s fair by colleagues from the Norwegian Arts Abroad (NAA) network, as well as other Norwegian cultural institutions. Together, we had meetings with several cultural institutions in the city of Frankfurt. Some, such as Schirn Kunsthalle, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Schauspiel Frankfurt and Archäologisches Museum, already have collaborative projects under way. Others, such as Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurter Kunstverein and Deutsches Architekturmuseum, are planning trips to Norway before reaching a decision about the content and angle of potential projects.

One condition of the cultural programme is that it must have a clear German underpinning: German institutions must have a sense of ownership and interest in it. The commitment of both the German and Norwegian players to date suggests that we can look forward to a spectacular cultural programme.

Ahead of this year’s fair in Frankfurt, we launched our Books from Norway website, which provides foreign rights buyers and journalists with information about Norwegian literature. The website also gives them an oversight of translators working from Norwegian. The content on the website is provided by rights holders, NORLA and translators. At the time of writing, the site includes 673 titles and 140 translator profiles. We thank the rights holders and translators for their contributions, and look forward to seeing the platform develop further! You can visit the website here: booksfromnorway.com

And more great news: The number of Norwegian titles sold for publication in German in 2018/2019 has now passed 100!

Towards the end of November, Literaturhaus Hamburg will be organising the Nordische Literaturtage. Four of the participating authors in NORLA’s New Voices development programme will be presented at the festival: Andreas Tjernshaugen, Tiril Broch Aakre, Birger Emanuelsen and Nina Lykke. The recruitment of authors and the cultivation of new literary voices on the international stage is an important aim of the Frankfurt project. This development programme is a collaboration between Talent Norge and the Norwegian Publishers Association, among others.

Ahead of the Nordische Literaturtage we will be holding a translation seminar for German-speaking translators at Literaturhaus Hamburg. The translators will meet authors Alfred Fidjestøl, Birger Emanuelsen and Tiril Broch Aakre, and will take part in workshops, producing sample translations of work by the latter two writers. The seminar is fully subscribed, with a total of 40 translators registered to attend.