The Nordic House is the administrative office for Nordic Council literature prizes. For further information please contact the project manager for the prizes.
Sofie Hermansen Eriksdatter
Head of Secretariat, The Nordic Council Literature Prizes
The Icelandic author, Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir received her award from Crown Princess Mette-Marit for the novel Ör (Hotel Silence, Pushkin Press 2018, translator Brian FitzGibbon) at the award ceremony for the five Nordic Council prizes held at the Opera House in Oslo.
Ólafsdóttir has been awarded the prize for a work full of subtle humour and sparkling, vital language, which asks the big questions about life and death.
The jury said
“I write against the darkness in the world,” says Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2018. In the novel Ör, we encounter a middle-aged man who takes his literal and metaphorical toolbox with him to a war-torn European country, intent upon putting an end to his life. In the course of his travels, he realises that we all have our own toolbox – what matters is how we choose to use it. This is a small book with a big heart. It is full of subtle humour and sparkling, vital language, which asks the big questions about life and death, about the individual versus the collective, about our privileges, rights and duties. Ultimately, it is duty that provides humanity with the tools to challenge the darkness.
Read more about the Nordic Council prizes.
The Nordic Council Literature Prize is awarded for a work of literature written in one of the languages of the Nordic countries, that meets “high literary and artistic standards”. Established in 1962, the prize is awarded every year and is worth 350,000 Danish kroner (2008). Eligible works are typically novels, plays, collections of poetry, short stories or essays, or other works that were published for the first time during the last four years, or in the case of works written in Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish, within the last two years. The prize is one of the most prestigious awards that Nordic authors can win.
The winner is chosen by an adjudication committee appointed by the Nordic Council. The committee consists of ten members, two each from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The committee members are generally experts in their own country’s literature, as well as their neighbouring countries. In addition to the regular members, additional members may be added to the committee if works are nominated from Åland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland or the Sami language area. Apart from the monetary award, the intent of the prize is also to “increase interest in the literature of neighbouring countries as well in Nordic cultural fellowship”.
The Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize was awarded for the first time during the Nordic Council Session in 2013 at the same time as the other Nordic Council prizes and is since then awarded annually.
The award is the result of the Nordic Culture Ministers long-standing desire to strengthen and elevate literature for children and young people in the region.
The prize is, as well as all the other Nordic Council prizes, worth DKK 350,000 and is awarded in conjunction with the Nordic Council’s Annual Session.
- Photographer: Johannes Jansson
The Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize 2018 was awarded to Træið (“The Tree”, not translated into English) by the Faroese author Bárður Oskarsson. Oskarsson received his award from the Swedish author and illustrator Gunilla Bergström at the award ceremony for the five Nordic Council prizes held at the Opera House in Oslo.