News from NORLA

Leipzig Book Fair 2018

Åsne Seierstad receives the Award for Europan Understanding during the opening of the 2018 Leipzig Book Fair. Photo: Gert Mothes.

Last week, the international book industry was gathered in Leipzig – and the Norwegian presence was the largest ever! 13 Norwegian authors met their readers at dozens of events, NORLA hosted a translation seminar, and the starting gun was fired for our German bookstore strategy in the build up to Norway as Guest Of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019.

Below is a selection of photos from some of the many highlights at this year’s book fair in Leipzig. We look forward to more!

Read more (in German) in Börsenblatt.

Åsne Seierstad receives prestigious award

During the opening of the Leipzig Book Fair on March 14, Åsne Seierstad received the The Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding at the Gewandhaus Concert Hall in Leipzig. Among other things, she received the award for One of us, which was translated by Frank Zuber and Nora Pröfrock. The Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding is one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Germany and has been awarded since 1994.

Åsne Seierstad. Photo: Gert Mothes.
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“The Blue Sofa” is a literary institution in Germany. During the Leipzig Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair, the TV channel ZDF, Deutchlandfunk and Bertelsmann set up a stage where authors are interviewed in front of an audience. Here, Åsne Seierstad is interviewed in connection with the award for European understanding which she received during the opening of the fair. Photo: Sunniva Adam.

New Voices in Leipzig

13 Norwegian authors were in attendance at the Leipzig Book Fair. Among them were NORLA’s five new voices

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(From the left): Lars Petter Sveen, Gudrun Skretting, Heidi Sævareid, Lotta Elstad and Øystein Morten. Photo: Sunniva Adam.

The five authors met German publishers, talked about their books to a German audience, and worked intensively with translators in a half-day translator seminar. NORLA is collaborating with Talent Norway and the Norwegian Publishers’ Association on the talent development program New Voices. Read more about the program here.

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Heidi Sævareid and Gudrun Skretting are pictured here in conversation with translator Karoline Hippe. Photo: Margit Walsø.

All the new voices presented themselves and their authorship on stage at the main Nordic stand in the exhibition area. Bjørn Berge, Nina Lykke, Monica Isakstuen and Lars Lenth also read aloud with their translators on the stand – a packed program!

Translator Seminar

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15 translators took part in NORLA’s translator seminar at The Grieg cultural forum (Grieg Begegnungsstätte) during the book fair. It was an intense and educational half-day seminar for both the translators and the authors. The experienced translator Hinrich Schmidt-Henkel, who has just been awarded the The King's Medal of Merit, opened the seminar with an interesting lecture on the relationship between author-text-translator-translated text. Photo: Ellen Trautmann Olerud.
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Books from the New Voices, which were presented at the seminar. (From the left) Øystein Morten’s "The Search for Sigurd the Crusader", Heidi Sævareid's "Fault Lines", Lotta Elstad's "I Refuse to Think", Lars Petter Sveen's "God’s Children" and Gudrun Skretting's "Anton and Other Accidents" and "Anton and Other Squares". In the background, a more experienced voice, Edvard Grieg. Photo: Ellen Trautmann Olerud.

Nordic Reading Night 2018

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The Nordic embassies collaborate annually on a Nordic literature event in connection with the Leipzig Book Fair and Leipzig Liest. Nordic Reading Night started at 1900 and went on until past midnight. Two authors from each of the Nordic countries took part, who read aloud and were interviewed about their books and their authorship. Monica Isakstuen and Nina Lykke were the two Norwegian writers this year. They were both interviewed by translator Ina Kronenberger. A large German audience turned up for a night filled with Nordic literature in center of Leipzig! Photo: Sunniva Adam.

Maja Lunde on The Blue Sofa

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On Saturday March 17, Maja Lunde was on The Blue Sofa, in conversation with her agent Annette Orre from Oslo Literary Agency. Photo: Gert Mothes.

Maja Lunde’s novel The History of Bees was the best-selling book in Germany in 2017 and on The Blue Sofa she introduced Blue which was published in German this week. Both books were translated by Ursel Allenstein (who is our March translator of the month, read more here).
Saturday is the most important day of the book fair, and this was evident from the incredible turn out in front of The Blue Sofa.

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A sea of people listen to Maja Lunde and Annette Orre's conversation on The Blue Sofa! Photo: Halldor Gudmundsson.

Norwegian books in German translation launched in Leipzig

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Nord Verlag hosted the launch of the German translation of Ingvild Lothe’s "Why am I so sad when I’m so cute?". The book was translated by Karl Clemens Kübler. Nord Verlag is a new publishing house specializing in new Nordic literature. (From the left) Karl Klemens Kübler, Ingvild Lothe and Camilla Zuleger, founder of Nord Verlag. Photo: Sunniva Adam.

The bookshops initiative is under way!

The Leipzig Book Fair marked the launch for the bookshops initiative, in connection with the Frankfurt project. German bookshops are to be included a more far-reaching manner than they previously have. During the Leipzig Book Fair, we and the Berlin Embassy invited German bookshops to a reception. The response from the bookshops that came along was very good.

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Halldór Gudmundsson, project manager for Frankfurt 2019, welcoming the bookshops and talked to them about the bookshops initiative, to great enthusiasm. Both the bookshops and ourselves look forward to continuing this! Gert Mothes.

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Good turn out at the reception for bookshops. Here, Norway’s ambassador to Germany, Petter Ølberg, speaks to those attending. Photo: Gert Mothes.
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Bookshops heard a conversation between Monica Isakstuen and her German publisher Dominique Pleimling from Eichborn Verlag. The German translation of her book "Be Kind to the Animals" recently came out in German under the title "Elternteile", translated by Ina Kronenberg. Photo: Gert Mothes.

Impressions from the Book Fair

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Here are some of the amazing cosplayers we encountered during the book fair. Photo: Sunniva Adam.

The Leipzig Book Fair is an audience fair, and very many of the young people present are cosplayers. The book fair holds its own Manga-Comic-Con, and the cosplayers bring life to the whole exhibition area. Read more about the Manga-Comic-Con exhibition here.

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Photo: NORLA.

Text and photos: Sunniva Adam and Ellen Trautmann Olerud.

Books from Norway provides you with English-language information about all genres of Norwegian literature. The information is provided by the rightsholders and NORLA.

Norway as Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse

Norway was Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2019. Please visit our website for information about the project.

Frankfurt 2019