News from NORLA
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.
Our March translator of the month is German Ursel Allenstein. She has translated the book topped Germany’s bestseller list in 2017, namely Maja Lunde’s The History of Bees. Ursel is currently translating the novel Blue, which is the latest book in Maja Lunde’s so-called Climate Quartet – and during the Leipzig Book Fair last week, Blue was the starting point for a televised interview with Maja Lunde on “The Blue Sofa,” (Das Blaue Sofa), Germany’s most famous literary institution. Ursel has received several awards for her translations from both Norwegian, Swedish and Danish.
This year’s figures from NORLA are clear – 2017 was another record year for Norwegian literature abroad. Never before has NORLA provided support for so many translations of Norwegian authors.
In 2017, NORLA granted support for the translation of 538 books by Norwegian authors, into 44 languages. That makes 2017 the best year ever for Norwegian literature in translation.
– 2017 remains a record year for Norwegian literature abroad. Never before have so many titles been granted translation support from NORLA, says Margit Walsø, NORLA’s director.
In 2019 Norway will be Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Norwegian literature abroad will become increasingly visible leading up to the Guest of Honour year, and this applies to other book fairs and festivals in Germany and internationally. This year, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit will visit the Leipzig Book Fair, as ambassador for Norwegian literature abroad. A total of 13 Norwegian authors will meet their German readers there! The Norwegian program can be found at the bottom of the page.
February’s translator of the month is Norwegian-Spanish Cristina Gómez Baggethun. She is currently a guest in Translated Night in Oslo on February 8th, where she will talk about the reception of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People in Spain between 1962 and 82. Ibsen in Spain at the end of Francoism and the beginning of democracy is the subject of her doctoral thesis at the University of Oslo.
In addition to being a translator of numerous books of all genres, she also participates in the “Ibsen in Translation” project conducted by of the Center for Ibsen Studies (UiO).
Cristina received NORLA’s translator award in 2009 and was awarded Anders Jahre’s culture award in 2012.
In 2019 Norway will be Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The project involves hundreds of literary and cultural programs in Germany throughout 2019 and culminates at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2019. NORLA and the Frankfurt team, together with a number of partners, will be using 2018 to ensure that Norway makes the most of our Guest of Honour year!
The website Books from Norway provides foreign publishers and journalists information, in English, about Norwegian literature as well as an overview of Norwegian translators. NORLA and our partners recently celebrated that the website, at the end of 2017, consisted of over 1000 titles and 150 translator profiles.
NORLA is collaborating with Talent Norway and The Norwegian Publishers’ Association, on the talent development programme, New Voices.
The idea is that engagement with foreign business and readers will contribute to an awareness of, and open up new perspectives on, the participant’s own authorship. NORLA will also make provisions so that the programme can contribute towards new international opportunities and make the participants better equipped to present their books internationally over a long-term.
January’s translator of the month is Norwegian-Arabic Sherin Abdel Wahab, who has recently translated Jon Fosse’s novel Morning and Evening, in collaboration with Amal Al Sadaany.
The book will be launched during the Cairo Book Fair later this month. Sherin has translated books within many different genres, especially children’s books, as well as non-fiction and Ibsen’s dramas.
What does literature do for its readers? Good literature opens both hearts and doors. To quote Olav H. Hauges most famous poem, It is that dream: “that one morning we’ll glide into a cove we didn’t know.” We dream of something similar for Norwegian literature. Through our project – Norway as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019 – we want Norwegian literature to open hearts and doors for its foreign readers.