News from NORLA
The most important news item of the spring for Norwegian cultural life was that Norway was named Guest of Honour for the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2019. In the speech given by the Minister of Culture in conjunction with the signing of the agreement, she emphasized that Norway has hereby acquired a unique position for the internationalization of Norwegian literature and culture through the book fair’s strong position in the important German market and worldwide. The Guest of Honour project provides great opportunities for Norwegian authors and for increasing the export of literature in the coming years. The book trade’s combined investment will be crucial and Norwegian Book Day in June clearly demonstrated that the industry is prepared to make the most of this opportunity. Activities commence now. NORLA’s talent development programme for new literary voices within all genres will start up in the autumn, in collaboration with Talent Norway and the Norwegian Publishers Association.
Upon the signing of the agreement between NORLA and Frankfurter Buchmesse for Norway as Guest of Honour at the Book Fair in 2019, the talent programme for young authors in Norway was confirmed. The development programme for new author talents will be organized through a collaborative agreement with Talent Norway (Talent Norge). The Norwegian Publishers Association will also contribute generously to the programme.
Recruitment is an important aspect of the work of Norway as Guest of Honour and Margit Walsø, NORLA’s director, emphasizes that cultivating new literary voices internationally is an important goal of the Frankfurt initiative. The long-term timeframe leading up to 2019 and the collaboration with Talent Norge will provide the opportunity to flush out unknown talents from Norway’s abundant literary underbrush.
In the years leading up to 2019, 20-30 authors will receive an offer of participation in a development programme focusing on the international aspects of the author profession. The programme will facilitate development through the exchange of experiences, travel, lectures, activities and network building.
Last week saw the Norwegian Festival of Literature, Sigrid Undset-dagene in Lillehammer, which is the largest literary festival in the Nordic countries.
At the festival NORLA held, for the first time, a translators seminar dedicated to a single book currently being translated into many languages. Eight translators, all of whom are working on Morten Strøksnes’ Havboka (“Shark Drunk”), met to discuss the book and the challenges they have experienced with the text. They also met the author who both enlightened and inspired us with his impressive local and technical knowledge.
Thanks to the translator from Iceland, all of us also got the taste (fermented) shark, of the very same species – håkjerring – that holds the lead in the book Shark Drunk (original title: Havboka).
The translators were (from the left in the small picture):
Halla Kjartansdóttir (Iceland),
Ina Kronenberger (Germany),
Olov Hyllienmark (Sweden),
Sylvia Kall (Germany),
author Morten A. Strøksnes,
Li Jingjing (China),
Paula Stevens (The Netherlands),
Birgitte Steffen Nielsen (Denmark)
and Teng-Chian Kuo (Taiwan).
At NORLA, we would like to thank the translators and Morten A. Strøknes for a both very inspiring and fruitful seminar, and we hope it proved beneficial for the translators’ ongoing work with the book.
Also, we look forward to seeing the book Shark Drunk launched around the world in the year(s) to come!
In addition to the translators seminar, NORLA’s participants were invited to take part in an international publishers’ seminar arranged by The Norwegian Publishers Association (Den norske Forleggerforening), in cooperation with NORLA, where they learned more about current trends in Norwegian fiction and non-fiction, and where six authors presented themselves and their oevre.
(More about the seminar in Norwegian here).
The group also visited Bjerkebæk, the home of Nobel laureate Sigrid Undset. And there was also time for a visit to the Maihaugen open air museum, where the group was able to enter several of the town houses that are decorated in detail from different decennia. This proved a very popular journey back in time!
And last, but not least, the translators were able to freely choose to attend their favourite events from the packed festival program, and some of them also took the opportunity to meet authors they are/have been translating.
Read more about the translators seminar, the book Shark Drunk and the literature festival here.
NORLA travels around the world to promote Norwegian literature
Please have look at some of our other travelogues here.
Jørn Lier Horst is the winner of the Petrona Award 2016 for ‘Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year’ for his novel The Caveman. NORLA offers its warmest congratulations!
There was joy and enthusiasm all around in the National Theatre in Oslo on 12 May 2016, as the agreement between the Frankfurter Buchmesse and NORLA, Norwegian Literature Abroad, was signed and officially confirming Norway as Guest of Honour at the book fair in 2019.
NORLA’s director Margit Walsø welcomed an enthusiastic audience and revealed that NORLA has been working towards the realization of the Guest of Honour project for about three years.
The Norwegian Minister of Culture, Linda Hofstad Helleland, held an enthusiastic speech welcoming this unique opportunity for Norwegian literature and culture to make an even bigger impression abroad. She also encouraged more privat sponsors to seize the opportunity to come aboard, to make the most of the project’s fantastic possibilities of Norwegian branding abroad.
On 12 May at 2 PM, in the lobby of the National Theatre in Oslo, NORLA’s Director Margit Walsø and Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Director Juergen Boos signed the agreement confirming Norway as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2019.
At NORLA, we offer our very warmest congratulations to Lars Mytting on his international bestseller Norwegian Wood being awarded the British Book Industry Award as best Non-Fiction book 2016!
Norwegian authors and NORLA were recently in Japan and were greeted with an overwhelming interest in Norwegian literature. On 6−10 March, there was a seminar on Norwegian literature, organized in collaboration with the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo. The seminar was designed for publishers and translators, and was about crime fiction, children’s and picture books, and translation.
The Norwegian participants were author Jørn Lier Horst, author and illustrator Mari Kanstad Johnsen, translator Anne-Lande Peters, publisher Svein Størksen (Magikon) and literature agent Hans Petter Bakketeig (Stilton Literary Agency), along with NORLA’s Director Margit Walsø and NORLA’s Senior Adviser Dina Roll-Hansen.
The programme also included eminent Japanese participants, who gave presentations or took part as moderators.
At April 19, NORLA had the pleasure of welcoming four new translators to Oslo for the fourth season of our translators hotel at Hotell Bondeheimen:
Rositsa G. Tsvetanova (Bulgarian), Sofija Vukovic (Serbian), Martin Aitken (British) and Olga Drobot (Russian).
We look forward to spending the next two weeks in their company!
The Gyldendal Prize is a publisher’s prize of 400,000 NOK, awarded annually by Norwegian publishing house Gyldendal Norsk Forlag.