Record amount of Norwegian literature sold abroad

More literature than ever before is being translated from Norwegian into other languages.

Record amount of Norwegian literature sold abroad
Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix

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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Norwegian author writes book for release in 100 years

Author Karl Ove Knausgård, one of the biggest names in Norwegian literature, has written a book which will stay under wraps for the next century.

Norwegian author writes book for release in 100 years
Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård addresses the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 15th. Photo: AFP

Knausgård has written the secretive manuscript for the Future Library project, NRK reports.

The concept involves an annual contribution by a chosen author of a text for release 100 years later.

Founded in 2014, the library’s first book will become available to the public in 2114. The books are made from trees planted in a Norwegian forest for the purpose of printing volumes for the library.

Knausgård is primarily known for his multi-volume, autobiographical novel My Struggle (Min Kamp), which has been published in over 30 languages.

The selection of Knausgård by Future Library was announced at the 2019 Book Fair in German city Frankfurt on Sunday, NRK writes.

“The first time I heard about Future Library I thought it was a fantastic idea and a very interesting artistic project,” Knausgård told the broadcaster.

“So I was particularly happy to be given the chance to be part of the project,” he said.

Other authors already part of the Future Library collection include Canadian Margaret Atwood, writer of 1985 dystopian novel and recent HBO television adaptation The Handmaid’s Tale.

Meanwhile, shooting of a Netflix film revolving around the Norwegian author has been cancelled, according to Denmark's public service broadcaster DR.

The film, which would have starred Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen (Cannibal, A Royal Affair, Valhalla Rising) as Knausgård, was stopped on the author’s decision, according to DR’s report.

READ ALSO: Future Library: 22nd century library grows in Norwegian wood