The Nordic Council’s Literature Prize

Today, the jury for the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize had its final meeting to select the winner for the year 2023. The book that is chosen as the winner will be announced on October 31st!

Yesterday, the jury visited the Nordic House for a tour of the library followed by dinner at Sónó restaurant here in the Nordic house. Below jury chairman Stefan Kjerkegaard, from Denmark, and jury member Sanna Klein, from Faroe Islands, share their thoughts on the process of selecting the winning book for 2023:

This award consistently upholds a standard of quality and serves as a platform to showcase Nordic literature to both regional and international audiences. Yet, its most crucial function lies in fostering connections among Nordic literary works.
It was striking to observe that books from both Norway and Denmark this year approached a documentary style within the realm of literature, even as they resisted conventional literary norms. Their recognition as nominees was noteworthy. Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised by the diverse range of literary genres represented.
Style and thematic exploration, or the interplay between form and content, have always been pivotal factors in evaluating literary works. Presently, there seems to be a lean towards prioritizing thematic depth and content. In today’s literary landscape, fiction that lacks a grounding in reality may encounter more challenges.
Being a part of this prestigious literary prize is a source of great honor, and engaging in discussions with fellow committee members about literary developments in their respective nations is incredibly stimulating. Above all, my hope is that the prize fosters greater visibility and encourages more cross-Nordic literary exploration, connecting readers across the Nordic countries.
– Stefan Kjerkegaard, chairman, (DEN)

Det er en vigtig rolle at være med i udvælgelsen af Nordisk Råds Litteraturpris. Det er en spændende proces, hvor man som læser og jury får nye oplevelser hver gang. Nordisk Råds Litteraturpris har en stor betydning, fordi den er både med til at styrke det nordiske samarbejde og det nordiske fællesskab, men den er også vigtig, fordi den er med til at skabe bevidsthed om dette fællesskab. Især i en tid hvor det engelske sprog fylder mere og mere, er det vigtigt at styrke den nordiske identitet, og Litteraturprisen får derfor en stor sproglig og litteraturhistorisk betydning. Juryen får mulighed for at se, hvad der rører sig i de andre lande, og hvilke tendenser afspejles i de andre landes litteratur.
–  Sanna Klein, jury member, (FAE)

All of the nominated books are available at the Nordic House library!