Record amount of Norwegian literature sold abroad

Record amount of Norwegian literature sold abroad
Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix
More literature than ever before is being translated from Norwegian into other languages.

Germany in particular is devouring books written in the Scandinavian nation, reports broadcaster NRK.

“As many as 538 books have been translated to 44 languages [in 2017]. It was the best year for Norwegian literature we have seen,” Margit Walsø, director of the Norwegian Literature Abroad (NORLA) centre, told NRK.

Norway is set to be the guest country at the Frankfurt Book Fair next year, the largest foreign event NORLA has ever participated in, according to the report.

Walsø said she believed that would push the interest in Norwegian literature to even higher levels.

“The German literature industry knows that Norway will be the big news at the Book Fair, and there will be interest in having Norwegian books on their lists,” she said to NRK.

The History of Bees by Maja Lunde topped Germany's bestseller list during 2017.

Other authors including Dag Solstad, Nina Lykke and Terje Dragseth are also set to receive new German translations.

Åsne Seierstad's One of Us, which addresses the 2011 attack in Norway by right-wing terrorist Anders Breivik and subsequent trial, recently won the prestigious Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding 2018.

The next-most translated languages for Norwegian books after German are Danish, English, Swedish and Spanish.

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