Topic: Literature

Lithuanian storytime

Evelina Daciutè and her daughter read from her book The Fox on the Swing (original title: Laimė yra Lapė) on Baltic Countries’ Children’s Culture Festival in the Nordic House spring 2021. The reading is in Lithuanian and in English.

Monika Fagerholm

Meet the Author

Monika Fagerholm (1961) is one of the most distinguished Finnish-Swedish authors. She has been described as an innovator of the Swedish language and a groundbreaking, style-forming author. Fagerholm is also known, beyond her authorship, as an active public debater and a mentor for new authors.

Fagerholm made her debut with the short story collection Sham in 1987. She had her breakthrough seven years later with the novel Underbara kvinnor vid vatten, followed by several other significant novels. Diva was published in 1998 and Den amerikanska flickan in 2005, winning her the August Prize. Lola uppochner was released in 2012, and in 2016 Fagerholm was awarded the Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize.

Vem dödade bambi? (in English, Who killed bambi?) is her seventh novel. In a more concentrated format than her previous works, it revolves around a gang rape committed by seemingly prosperous young people in a small, well-to-do community, Villastan, not far from Helsinki. The focus is not on the rape itself, but on the events before and after it. The novel is a dense web of stories, memories, dialogue, and cultural references, while the range of characters is broad. Vem dödade bambi? was awarded the 2020 Nordic Council Literature Prize. In the motivation, Fagerholm’s novel is described as a stylised tale of morality written with fervent energy. The year 2020, Fagerholm was also awarded with the Tollander Prize and Selma Lagerlöf Prize for her novel and her life’s work. 

The conversation is moderated in Swedish by Sunna Dís Másdóttir, literature mediator, author and member of the jury for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.

Kjell Westö

Meet the Author

The moderator is the Icelandic author Einar Kárason. The interview is in Swedish/Scandinavian.

KJELL WESTÖ (1961) is a Finland-Swedish writer, who has written both poetry and short stories, but is best known for his novels, which are set in his hometown and where the history of Finland is the background everything unfolds against. His breakthrough novel Drakarna över Helsingfors (‘Kites over Helsinki‘) was published in 1996. He has since written several novels and received the Finlandia Prize in 2006 for his multi-generational novel Där vi en gång gått (‘Where once we walked‘), which was made into a film with the same title.

In 2013 his novel Hägring 38 was published, which in 2016 came out in English as The Wednesday Club. It takes place during a few months in 1938, when tendencies that would become clear during World War II can already be identified, while the Finnish Civil War of 1918 casts its long shadow over the novel´s characters. For this book, Westö was awarded the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2014.

Niviaq Korneliussen and Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

Meet the Author

Niviaq Korneliussen and Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir will talk together about their authorships. The two authors have several overlapping interests that they will unfold. Niviaq’s latest novel, BLOMSTERDALEN (the flower valley), deals with suicide, sex, and relationships. She first experienced suicide when she was thirteen. She herself will be buried between the high mountains in Tasiilaq, where the nameless graves in the cemetery in BLOMSTERDALEN are covered with blue, red and pink plastic flowers, lying in the pure snow seen on the front of the book.

The collective, the community around the ‘suicide culture’ in Greenland is touched upon in BLOMSTERDALEN in the most sensitive way for a long time.

BLOMSTERDALEN is a story without compromise and a black humorous novel about love, friendship, and grief – and about being wrong in a society where no one talks about the dead.

Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (born 1958) award-winning book, AR, also deals with suicide, but with a completely different approach, as a ‘man’s suffering’ in connection with the world. Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir is a well-established Icelandic author and art historian. Ólafsdóttir’s latest novel Dýralif was published in 2020. Her novel Ór won the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2018. In 2019, the French translation of her novel Miss Island received the Prix Médicis étranger.

Niviaq Korneliussen (born 1990) is a Greenlandic author, known for his pioneering novels. Her latest novel BLOMSTERDALEN was published in 2020. Korneliussen made her debut in 2014 with her novel HOMO sapienne. The novel, which depicts the lives of LGTBQ + people in Greenland, was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2015. Niviaq Korneliussen is nominated for the Nordic Council Literaturprize 2021 for her novel BLOMSTERDALEN.

Moderator, Sofie Hermansen Eriksdatter, Head of Secretariat, The Nordic Council Literature Prizes.

Interruptions — Andri Snær Magnason and Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir

Meet the Author

The 10th of February, the Nordic House is hosting a literary event where authors discuss and dissect literature as a disruptive force, and how collisions with new words and ideas can send our thoughts down new and unexpected paths.

We tend to see interruptions as negative, breaking our focus and disrupting the order we are constantly working on bringing to our lives, but in their absence, we crave the diversion they bring. During the quiet dullness of winter, a mood exacerbated by the effect of the global pandemic, interruptions in all forms have been constantly present while our normal stimuli, such as social interactions, are vastly different to what we are used to.

INTERRUPTION:
Obstruction caused by breaking in upon course, current, progress, or motion; stop; hindrance.  The state of being interrupted; a breach or break, caused by the abrupt intervention of something foreign; intervention; interposition. “Lest the interruption of time cause you to lose the idea of one part.”

What happens during and after an interruption?

Andri Snær Magnason is known for his works of fiction and non-fiction that jolt readers out of their comfortable numbness, inspiring both thought and action.

Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir is an experienced reporter who in recent years has gained recognition for her novels that deal with catastrophes, both on a personal level as well as a larger scale.

Moderator: Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir is a literary critic and the Editor-in-chief of Iceland Review.

The conversation will be in English.

Kristín Ómarsdóttir and translator John Swedenmark

Meet the Author

Now I die, honey – Livestream

Kristín Ómarsdottír is a peculiar voice in Icelandic literature. Kristín Ómarsdóttir explores gender, boundaries and identity in her strong and vulnerable poems, novels, short stories and plays. This author night will revolve around Kristín Ómarsdóttir’s authorship as the award-winning translator John Swedenmark, who translated Ómarsdóttirs books, will lead us through.

Kristín Ómarsdóttir (1962) has received numerous awards for her works. The novel Elskan mín ég dey (“Now I Die, honey”) was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 1999 and her play Ástarsaga 3 (“Love story 3”) was nominated for the Nordic Dramatic Prize in 1998.
In 2005 she received the Icelandic award Grímuverðlaunin as Playwright of the Year for the Play Segðu mér allt (“Tell Me Everything”).

For the poetry collection Sjáðu fegurð þína (“See your beauty”), she received the Icelandic award Fjoraverðlaunin in 2008. Kristín Ómarsdóttir has also worked with visual art, exhibited drawings, and participated in exhibitions where she has worked with various art forms such as videos and sculptures. Kristín Ómarsdóttir’s books have been translated into Danish, Swedish, Finnish and French, and her poems have been published in foreign anthologies

When the book Kóngulær í sýningargluggum  “Spiders in exhibition windows” (nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2019) was published, an Icelandic critic wrote: “Kristín succeed with both fascinating and scaring, make one cry and happy, all at once.”

John Swedenmark (1960) is a translator, linguist and editor living in Stockholm. He translates Icelandic fiction, as well as French and English literature and poetry from several other languages. In addition, he is an essayist himself.

Among the authors Swedenmark has translated are; Gyrðir Elíasson, Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, Émile Benveniste, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Sjón, Jón Kalman Stéfansson, Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl and Alda Merini.

Swedenmark won Orðstír Award 2019  – ‘the honorary award for translators of Icelandic literature into a foreign language’ and the Swedish Academy’s translator award in 2019.

Hanne Højgaard Viemose and Kristín Eiríksdóttir

Meet the Author

How many women can one woman be?

Conversation between Hanne Højgaard ​​Viemose and Kristín Eiríksdóttir

Hanne Højgaard Viemose and Kristín Eiríksdóttir’s writings have similarities. Therefore we have chosen to bring together the two writers in a conversation where they can unfold their authorships and talk about gender and identity.

Hanne Højgaard Viemoses writings are raw, unsentimental, and present. A restless ‘I’ trying to find herself – or maybe finding out for herself is a turning point in all her books. This applies both in the debut “Hannah” from 2011, in the independent sequel “Mado” and in “Helhedsplanen”, both from 2015, and in the third book, “HHV, Frshwn: Dødsknaldet I Amazonas” from 2019, nominated for The Nordic Council Literature Prize 2020. In all three books, the language reflects the directionless, headstrong, caring, and playful in the protagonist’s life. The style is fragmented, guided by deposits and associations, and between the lines of Viemose’s straightforward language, the displaced and unspoken leaks to the reader.

Hanne Højgaard Viemose writes about freedom, restlessness, motherhood, identity, love, spirits, mental illness, and about life when it falls. Hanne Højgaard Viemose was born in 1977 and raised in Frederikshavn. She has a BA degree in Anthropology and Ethnography and graduated from the Author’s School in Copenhagen. She debuted in 2011 with the novel Hannah.

Kristín Eiríksdóttir writes about the longing for love and understanding, the fight against seclusion, loneliness, abuse, violence, and horror. The novel Elín, ýmislegt (Nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2019) is a clear example of this. It shows a young woman’s strong voice in an artistic and purposeful text.

“I have been so many women,” says the aging protagonist of Elín, ymíslegt(Elin, diverse, Forlagið 2018, translated into Danish by Kim Lembek). Kristín Eiríksdóttir’s novel surrounds many facets of women’s self-perception. One can make a good impression, create a better impression, or show a false self-image. In today’s virtual reality, anything is possible. The protagonist Elín is a scenographer and creates bodies and body parts that must be credible. A bruised woman’s body is a theme that pops up several times in the book, either as a prop or as a reality.

Kristín Eiríksdóttir was born in 1981. She debuted as a poet in 2004 with the collection ‘Kjötbærinn’ (2004) and has since written novels, short stories, poetry, and plays. Her novel ‘Elín, ymíslegt’ won the Icelandic Literature Prize in 2017. Kristín Eiríksdóttir is also a trained visual artist and has participated in group exhibitions and happenings.

Jonas Eika in conversation with Ísold Uggadóttir

Meet the Author

The Danish writer Jonas Eika, winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize2019, in conversation with the Icelandic filmmaker Ísold Uggadóttir. The conversation moderated by writer Hanne Viemose will be in English. 

Jonas Eika’s book Efter solen / After the Sun and Isold Uggadóttir‘s award-winning film work; Andið Eðlligen / And Breathe Normally are both works of art that address current political issues in the world: In the film, it is asylum policy and refugees, while in the book it is a more abstract, yet recognizably unstable world.

Jonas Eika and Ísold Uggadóttir will meet in conversation about how they have worked on these issues and what considerations they have made along the way in relation to their artistic expression, both of which work with a social-realistic reality.

After the Sun is a bookmarking the global crisis. Exploitation and inequality, despairing conditions and violent, dark experiences are an important part of its substance. Yet one feels a sense of hope when it comes to the possibility of change. That another world is actually possible and that this world may already be here but requires being called alive and unfolded. If it is true that language is fossil poetry, then After the Sun initiates an intense and sustainable extraction of the fuel of the language, which in itself is breathtaking. But the book also sets a new, affirmative tone in the literature dealing with the issues that no one can avoid: the effects of global inequality, global warming and all the other crises that our world is full of.

After the sun has received Danish Fiction Writers’ Prize Den svære Toer, Montana’s Literature Prize and the Michael Strunge Prize.

The Nordic Council Literature Prize

The jury’s reasoning: ”The recipient of the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2019 is a very young writer whose short story collection After the Sun has surprised and enthralled the jury with its global perspective, its sensual and imaginative language, and its ability to speak into contemporary political challenges without way feels directed to a certain place. Jonas Eika writes about a reality that is recognizable, whether we are in Copenhagen, Mexico or Nevada – among financial speculators, homeless boys or people who believe in aliens. But there is poetic magic in the air. Reality opens up to other possibilities, other dimensions. There is something wonderful and hopeful in it that exactly reminds us why literature can do more than mirror what we already know.”

Gunnar D. Hansson

Meet the Author

The conversation moderated by Sofie Hermansen Eriksdatter, Head of Secretariat for the Nordic Council Literature Prizes, will be in Swedish and Danish.

Gunnar D. Hansson (1945) is a poet, essayist, literary historian and translator of Old English and Old Icelandic poetry. He is an associate professor of literature and has been a professor at the University of Gothenburg.

Since his debut in 1979, he has written several essay collections and 12 poetry collections, including Tapeshavet (2017), which takes you on a multidimensional journey through time, space and thought. Tapeshavet is the name of a very old coastline, which was created on the Swedish west coast after the recent ice age. Hansson explores the areas of Tapeshavet, its history, and nature, the remains of lost cultures, fishing and stone carving. The book was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize, and Hansson has received several prestigious literary awards for both his poetry and his essays. In several of his works, for example, Olunn (1989), Lunnebok(1991) and Idegransöarna (1994) he has dealt with nature and wildlife in and near the sea. The collections of poems are based on contemporary and historical, the Old Norse and the even older. Hansson’s lyrical authorship is cross-border. In his poetry collections, he moves freely and with great literary and philosophical knowledge, with humor, warmth and life experience in a rich measure between the personal and the universal human. They are unparalleled in Swedish poetry, both in terms of originality and literary quality.

Theis Ørntoft

Meet the Author

The conversation led by writer Hanne Højgaard Viemose will be in Danish.

Theis Ørntoft (1984) is a poet and novelist. He has studied literature, graduated from Forfatterskolen and has received prestigious Danish awards: Munch-Christensen’s Culture Grant, the Michael Strunge Award and Klaus Rifbjerg’s Debut Award.

Ørntoft debuted with his naughty and stylish poetry collection Yeahsuiten(2009). The poems are characterized by attitude and youthful supremacy, and Ørntoft draws on the youth’s language usage, everyday life and cultural references. He combines the youth culture with a literary-historical consciousness, which is also seen in his poetry collection Digte 2014, where he again draws on some of the literary history’s heavy boys, e.g. Adam Oehlenschläger and Johannes V. Jensen. Ørntoft has truly established his name as one of the great voices within the newer Danish poetry. But both in Digte 2014 and the debut novel Solar (2018), the naughty and youthful, however, are replaced by feelings of powerlessness and subversion. His auto fictive novel is about a poet named Theis, who moves cynically observing through a messy and rootless life, first on the ancient Danish road Hærvejen, later in Copenhagen’s nightlife and even later in Southern Europe’s rogue bodegas. A desperate, dystopian generation novel and a hallucinated road trip.

Turið Sigurðardóttir and Malan Marnersdóttir

Meet the Author

This evening, the Faroe Islands’ most talented literature researchers will tell us about the islands’ exciting writers and literary history.

Turið Sigurðardóttir (1946) is a literary historian, linguist, author and translator. She holds a master’s degree in literature and a BA degree in Icelandic language and history. Sigurðardóttir teaches at the University of the Faroe Islands in literary literature and translation and researches in the Faroese literature history, including children’s literature and poetry. She is a member of the Faroese Language Council, is a member of the jury for the Nordic Council Literature Prize, and she has been chairman of the Faroese Authors’ Association. Sigurðardóttir has published books and articles on Faroese writers and literary history, as well as textbooks in Icelandic. She is co-editor of a Norwegian anthology about Faroese short stories. She has also translated a large number of authors into Faroese from Icelandic, Swedish and English, including works by Halldór Laxness and Astrid Lindgren. One of her most extensive publications is the author Simun of Skarði’s works in seven volumes.

Malan Marnersdóttir (1952) is an award-winning Faroese non-fiction author and has university degrees in French and Danish. Marnersdóttir teaches Faroese and Nordic literature as well as mass communication at the Faroe Islands University, and her research area is female writers and their role in Faroese society. She has been principal at the Faroe Islands University and has written about Faroese literature and Faroese female writers for various journals, for the encyclopedia Nordic Women’s History and the literary magazine Brá, where she has been a co-editor. She has, together with Laura Joensen, written the play Logi, logi eldur mín about the Faroese writer Jóhanna Maria Skylv Hansen.

Tomas Espedal

Meet the Author

Tomas Espedal (1961) debuted in 1988 and has published sixteen books. He has been nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize for (2006) and Imot kunsten (2009), for which he received the Kritikerprisen. He received the Brageprisen for Imot naturen (2011). His novel Bergeners (2013) was also nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. Espedal grew up in a working family in Bergen. For a period of his youth, Espedal lived in Copenhagen, where he began to write in earnest. He became part of the Copenhagen punk environment and the literary environment around Poul Borum and Forfatterskolen. After his formative years in Copenhagen, he graduated from the University of Bergen. He has created his very own genre in Norwegian literature and has been the initiator of the Bergen International Poetry Festival.

As a writer, he stands out from his family, who are all workers. Espedal underlines that an author’s work is like everyone else: The typewriter is the machine he works at every day. In an interview in Politiken, he says: “Throughout my writings, it has been important for me to demonstrate how much work it actually requires to be an author. That it really is a job. I’m writing about writing. Here are my working hours. Here is my production. Here is my machine.” (Kim Skotte: “Norwegian author: If you take too many considerations, you are finished “. Politiken, 2010-12-02).

Espedal’s writings revolve around experience of losing and a deep urge to live through this grief, in order to be confirmed in life’s incessant and opaque power. Heart grief, deception, perishing, disintegration, transformation – traveling, walking, cycling, sailing and perhaps just finding / regaining yourself – also in the close relationships – are the themes of Espedal’s interesting and multifaceted writing.

The conversation, led by Sofie Hermansen Eriksdatter, Head of Secretariat for the Nordic Council Literature Prizes, will be in Norwegian and Danish.

Pia Tafdrup

Meet the Author

Pia Tafdrup (1952) is an MA, poet and author. She made her debut in 1981 and has since 1989 been a member of The Danish Academy. Tafdrup has among many awards received the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 1999 for the poetry collection Dronningeporten (1998), she has received The Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize and has been named Knight of the Dannebrog. Throughout the years, she has made many reading tours around the world and has been translated into many languages – in 2019 the Icelandic publisher Sæmundur publishes 80 of Tafdrup’s poems in a bilingual version.

Pia Tafdrup’s writings revolve around issues such as transgression, break ups and change based on one of the only pieces of nature our civilization does not yet manage to control: Our own body. The existential errand of the works is a search of the relationship between life and death, hatred and love, language and silence.

Among her other poetry collections are: Når der går hul på en engel (1981), Den inderste zone (1983), Hvid feber (1986), Krystalskoven (1992), Tusindfødt(1999), and the quartet Hvalerne i Paris (2002), Tarkovskijs heste (2006), Trækfuglens kompas (2010) and Salamandersol (2012). In addition, Tafdrup has written the poetry Over vandet går jeg. Skitse til en poetik (1991) and the novels Hengivelsen (2004) and Stjerne uden land (2008).

“Icelandic Voices”

Meet the Author

Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, Fríða Ísberg, Haukur Ingvarsson
and Jón Örn Loðmfjörð

The Poetry Festival Audiatur in Bergen has been one of the most important venues for innovative poets in the Nordic countries over the past decades. This time, the organizers decided to focus on proximity and dedicate the festival to poetry in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. A cooperative was appointed in each country that chose four poets to write poetry just for this festival. The results were published in five publications in Norwegian with the introduction of the curators.

On this Meet the Author evening “Icelandic Voices” the Icelandic representatives from the Audiatur festival Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, Fríða Ísberg, Haukur Ingvarsson and Jón Örn Loðmfjörð will participate. The Icelandic curator, poet Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, will introduce the poets, tell about the project and experiences from the festival.
Translations of the poems in Norwegian (by Kristján Breiðfjörð) will be displayed on a screen in the auditorium.

The evening is in Icelandic and Scandinavian.

Johannes Anyuru

Meet the Author

Johannes Anyuru (1979) is a poet, author and dramatist. He grew up in Borås and Växjö with a Swedish mother and a Ugandian father. Anyuru was studying engineering but already in high school, he began writing poetry and he is today one of the most seminal voices in Nordic contemporary literature.

The event begins at 19.30, and everyone is welcome while there is room. The conversation, led by Culture Journalist Halla Þórlaug Óskarsdóttir will be in Swedish.

Free entrance.  

Anyuru debuted in 2003 with the poetry collection Det är bara gudarna som är nya. His other poetry collection Omega (2005) is about a close friend’s death, and the third poetry collection Städerna inuti Hall / The Cities inside Hall (2009) is a political landscape of sadness. Anyuru had his novel debut with Skulle jag dö under andra himlar (2010) and he got his international breakthrough with the novel En storm kom från paradiset / A Storm blew in from Paradise (2012) which is a story about a father and son where rootlessness and identity play a major role. The novel was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize and translated into several languages. The novel De kommer att drukna i sina mödrars tårar / The Rabbit Yard (2017) is a dystopian depiction of a future Gothenburg where Muslims must sign a citizen’s contract not to be called enemies of Sweden.

AALTO Bistro in the Nordic House is open for dinner guests before the event and offers a delicious dinner menu and light meals, all made with first-class ingredients. During the break, it is possible to enjoy light refreshments from AALTO Bistro.
Welcome!

Image: Moderna museet

Rosa Liksom

Meet the Author

Rosa Liksom, the pseudonym of Anni Ylävaara (1958), was raised in Lapland among reindeers on a farm. She has studied anthropology and spent her youth travelling around Europe and testing alternative living forms. She has also lived in Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Russia. She is now living in Helsinki, where she paints and writes novels, short stories, children’s books, comics, plays and film scripts. Her books are translated into many languages, including Icelandic.

Liksom had her debut in 1985 with Yhden Yön Pysäkki. Later books include Unohdettu vartti (1986), Väliasema Gagarin (1987), Go Moscow Go (1988) and Tyhjän ten Paratiisit (1989). Liksom writes about marginalized people at the bottom of society. The novel Kreisland / Crazeland (1996) is a satire about the absurdities of existence, which encompass both war and marital life.

The novel Perhe (2000) is ironizing about the self-sufficient single family home happiness. The novel Hytti nro 6 – kohtaamisia junassa / Compartment No 6 (2011), which was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize, gives a picture of the Soviet era through the eyes of a Finnish girl and a Russian traveller with the Trans-Siberian railway. Recently, Liksom had published the novel Everstina (2017), where the unique Lapponian nature is the background for a young woman and an elderly man’s affair, evolving into a violent and destructive marriage.

Hanne-Vibeke Holst og Kristín Steinsdóttir

Meet the Author

In connection with Iceland’s 100th anniversary as an independent state and based on Holst and Steinsdóttir’s own authorhips, focus will be placed on women’s role in literature over time in the light of women’s liberation and social development in Denmark and Iceland.

Hanne-Vibeke Holst (1959) is a trained journalist and has among others written for Berlingske Tidende, Alt for Damerne and Politiken. Holst debuted as an author in 1980 and has released numerous novels, which have also been transferred to television and theater. Holst’s novels often focus on experiences in the modern women’s life, or they are key novels based on today’s political power games, such as Kronprinsessen (2002), Kongemordet(2005) and Dronningeofferet (2008), which she received the award De Gyldne Laurbær for. Holst is an important voice in the Danish equality debate, both by virtue of her work as a social debater, lecturer and author.

Kristín Steinsdóttir (1946) is a trained teacher, holds a BA in Danish and German and has lived in Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Germany. Since 1988, Steinsdóttir has written books for adults, young people and children and written plays. She has been on the board of the Icelandic Authors Association and the Association for Icelandic Children and Youth Authors. She has received several Icelandic awards for her books and has received the Nordic Children’s Book Prize for Engil in Vesturbænum (2003). The novel Á eigin vegum was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2008.

The conversation, led by Halldóra Jónsdóttir, Project Manager at the Árna Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, University of Iceland, will be in Danish.

Erik Skyum-Nielsen

Meet the Author

In connection with Iceland’s 100th anniversary as an independent state, this evening will focus on recent Danish and Icelandic fiction. The conversation tonight will, among other things, spread light on similarities and differences regarding literary tendencies, narrative styles, and the Denmark-Iceland culture community within literature.

Erik Skyum-Nielsen (1952) holds a mag.art. degree in Nordic Literature and is Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, as well as a literary reviewer and critic.

Skyum-Nielsen is one of Denmark’s leading literature experts of modern Nordic literature, and he is Denmark’s top translator of North Atlantic literature. He has translated more than 60 Icelandic and Faroese books into Danish. For instance, he has translated Einar Már Guðmundsson’s entire bibliography.  In 2015 Skyum-Nielsen received Orðstír, a new honorary award for translators of Icelandic literature into a foreign language.

Skyum-Nielsen has published a number of books, including Ideologi og æstetik i H.C. Branners sene forfatterskab (1980), Den oversatte klassiker: tre essays om litterær traditionsformidling (1997), Engle i sneen: lyrik og prosa i 90erne (2000), Møder med Madsen (audiobook with Svend Åge Madsen, 2009) og Et skrivende dyr (audiobook with Bent Vinn Nielsen, 2011). In addition to this, collections of his literary reviews have been published in the books Fra ånden i munden: litteraturkritiske bidrag (2000) and Ordet fanger: litterær kritik i udvalg ved Christian Lund (2002).

The conversation, led by Gísli Magnússon, Associate Professor in Danish at the University of Iceland, will be in Danish.

Josefine Klougart

Meet the Author

Josefine Klougart (born 1985) studied art history and literature and attended The Danish Writer’s School, where she now teaches. She is the co-founder of the publishing company Forlaget Gladiator, and has also been a visiting professor at Bern University and done collaborations with the visual artist Ólafur Elíasson.

Klougart is one of the most promising and productive young Danish writers and is regarded as one of the most important literary voices of our time. She debuted in 2010 and has so far written five novels, two of which were nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.

Klougart’s work is based on events, experiences and impressions from her own life. A good example of this is her debut novel Rise and Fall (2010), where the narrator of the story uses poetic language to describe the landscapes and moods of her childhood in Mols, Denmark, where Klougart herself grew up. The novel The Halls (2011) describes a destructive relationship between a younger woman and an older man. She has also written One of Us is Sleeping (2012) and On Darkness (2013); the latter dealing with the darkness found in small as well as considerably big disasters. She deals with concrete darkness, which changes and fluctuates in line with time; day, night and seasons, but also the darkness that can take over your body and darkness as a constant condition. Her latest release is the novel New Forrest (2016). Klougart’s books are translated into several languages and published in many different countries.

The event begins at 19.30, and everyone is welcome as long as there is room.

The conversation, led by Gísli Magnússon, Associate Professor in Danish at the University of Iceland, will be in Danish.

Merete Pryds Helle

Meet the Author

Merete Pryds Helle (1965) is educated from Forfatterskolen and has a Bachelor’s degree in Literature Studies. She has lived in Italy for many years, where she has been a teaching assistant at several universities.

Pryds Helle made her debut in 1990, and her breakthrough novel was Fiske i livets flod (2000). In addition to prose for adults, she has written children’s books, reviews, essays, radio plays, sonnets, among other things. Merete Pryds Helle’s writing is characterized by language experiments and great style security. Along with other younger female writers like Helle Helle, Kirsten Hammann and Christina Hesselholdt, she is an important part of the Danish literature scene.

Her great popular breakthrough came in 2016 with the family novel Folkets skønhed, inspired by the author’s own family history, giving an accurate and heartbreaking picture of the protagonist’s upbringing in a poor home where violence against children was part of everyday life. Pryds Helle also draws a convincing portrait of Denmark in the 20th century, from the poverty of the 1930s to the many women who never became part of the liberation in the 1970s. The life’s work of an author who masters a variety of different genres for which she received De Gyldne Laurbær and has been nominated for the DR Novel Prize, Politiken‘s Literature Prize and the Readers Literature Prize.

Kirsten Thorup

Meet the Author

Kirsten Thorup (1942) made her debut in 1967 with the poem collection Inside – Outside, and thus 2017 marked her 50th anniversary as an author. Thorup has written in all genres but is primarily known for a number of deep exemplary and socially engaging novels such as Lille Jonna (1977), Himmel og helvede (1982), Den yderste grænse (1987) and Bonsai (2000), with which she has left her mark on recent Danish literature.

Thorup’s novel Erindring om kærligheden (2016), for which she was awarded the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2017, draws a portrait of the woman Tara, who constantly reaches out to the vulnerable in society. Somewhat by coincidence she got a daughter and taking care of her is a task she is struggling to cope with. It is a heartbreaking and merciless process in which Thorup treats questions about right and duty, the private and the political – and not least the strength and the price of love – in an increasingly nuanced form. Erindring om kærligheden is a pitch-black and intelligent novel that draws on our common depths, as only real literature can do.

The conversation, led by Gísli Magnússon, Associate Professor in Danish at the University of Iceland, will be in Danish.

Sissal Kampmann

Meet the Author

Sissal Kampmann (born 1974) is a poet from the Faroe Islands who holds a master’s degree in Nordic literature. She made her debut in 2011 with the collection Ravnar á ljóðleysum flogi – yrkingar úr uppgongdini (“Ravens fly silently – poems from the ascent”), for which she was awarded the Klaus Rifbjerg Debutant Prize. Since then she has released four more collections that have reaffirmed her position as a powerful new lyrical voice in the Faroe Islands.

Sunnudagsland is Kampmann’s fifth poetry collection. Sunnudagsland(“Sunday Country”) is set in the village of Vestmanna in the Faroe Islands, where the poet Sissal Kampmann was born and raised. After spending 24 years away, primarily in Copenhagen and Tórshavn, she returned to the village to live there for a while. Her visit provides the context for this collection, the title of which refers to killing time on boring Sundays at the fringe of the world. Yet Sunnudagsland also refers to the special state of loneliness, boredom, and existential crisis that the poetic narrator seems to find herself in.

The conversation, led by Jórunn Sigurdardóttir, Programm Manager with RUV, will be in Danish. 

Vigdis Hjorth (Part 2)

Meet the Author

Vigdis Hjorth (born 1959) is a Norwegian author and MA in History of Ideas, Political Science and Literature, and she also studied Literary History. She has worked for NRK Barneradioen and has been the editor of Barnetimeboka.

Vigdis Hjorth’s 20th novel, Arv og miljø (“Heritage and Environment”) published in 2016, begins with a recognizable dilemma: As the father dies, disagreement arises as to how the cabins in the family are to be distributed among the four surviving siblings. The concrete conflict about an inheritance that has been pounding in the family for many years soon swirls to the surface and becomes crucial when the story of the family and the father’s position is to be written for posterity. Hjorth treats a significant societal problem – sexual abuse against children and the harmful effects that can last for life. The excitement of the novel is not so much about the disclosure of what actually happened, but more about the protagonist’s struggle with her own story and how deeply the battle of truth can affect the most everyday situations and the closest relationships.

Since her debut in 1983, Vigdis Hjorth has through essays, articles, children’s books and novels developed one of the strongest authorships in contemporary Norwegian literature. Her authorship reaches a preliminary high point with Arv og miljø, which in 2017 was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.

The conversation, led by Sunna Dís Másdóttir, Project Manager at Borgarbókasafn Reykjavíkur, is in Scandinavian.

Vigdis Hjorth (Part 1)

Meet the Author

Vigdis Hjorth (born 1959) is a Norwegian author and MA in History of Ideas, Political Science and Literature, and she also studied Literary History. She has worked for NRK Barneradioen and has been the editor of Barnetimeboka.

Vigdis Hjorth’s 20th novel, Arv og miljø (“Heritage and Environment”) published in 2016, begins with a recognizable dilemma: As the father dies, disagreement arises as to how the cabins in the family are to be distributed among the four surviving siblings. The concrete conflict about an inheritance that has been pounding in the family for many years soon swirls to the surface and becomes crucial when the story of the family and the father’s position is to be written for posterity. Hjorth treats a significant societal problem – sexual abuse against children and the harmful effects that can last for life. The excitement of the novel is not so much about the disclosure of what actually happened, but more about the protagonist’s struggle with her own story and how deeply the battle of truth can affect the most everyday situations and the closest relationships.

Since her debut in 1983, Vigdis Hjorth has through essays, articles, children’s books and novels developed one of the strongest authorships in contemporary Norwegian literature. Her authorship reaches a preliminary high point with Arv og miljø, which in 2017 was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.

The conversation, led by Sunna Dís Másdóttir, Project Manager at Borgarbókasafn Reykjavíkur, is in Scandinavian.

Tom Buk-Swienty

Meet the Author

Tom Buk-Swienty (1966) is a Danish writer and journalist and holds a Master‘s degree in History and American Studies. A former correspondent in the United States for Weekendavisen, he is now Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark.

Tom Buk-Swienty had his debut as a writer with AMERIKA MAXIMA in 1999, about a road trip through the USA.  Among the books he wrote since is DEN IDEELLE AMERIKANER (2005), a biography of the photographer Jacob A. Riis. In 2008, Tom Buk-Swienty released SLAGTEBÆNK DYBBØL about the Battle of Dybbøl in 1864. Two years later, DOMMEDAG ALS came out – a book about the Danish defeat of Als in 1864 and the subsequent bitter peace closure. In 2013, KAPTAJN DINESEN – ILD OG BLOD came out and in 2014, CAPTAIN DINESEN – TIL DØDEN OS SKILLER was released, the second of the three-volume biography on the adventurer,  officer, politician and writer Wilhelm Dinesen. In 2016, the third volume: TOMMY AND TANNE was released – about two of Wilhelm Dinesen’s children, his son Thomas Dinesen and his daughter Karen Blixen.

The conversation, led by Gísli Magnússon, Associate Professor in Danish at the University of Iceland, will be in Danish.

Sørine Steenholdt

Meet the Author

The moderator is Heiðrún Ólafsdóttir, who has translated Sørine Steenholdts book Zombiet Nunaat into Icelandic and the interview will be held in Danish.

Sørine Steenholdt was born in Paamiut in southern Greenland in 1986. She grew up in what she has described as a dysfunctional home with abuse and negligence. After high school, she moved to the capital, Nuuk, where she studied language, literature, and media at the university. Her award-winning short story, Du skal adlyde din mor (You should obey your mother), that dealt with physical violence and motherhood, was then chosen for the anthology Ung i Grønland – ung i verden (Young in Greenland – young in the world) in 2012.

Sørine Steenholdt writes in Greenlandic, her mother tongue. In 2015 her debut book, a short story- and a poetry collection called Zombiet Nunaat (Zombieland) was published. The book covers rape, suicide, cannabis-abuse, and violence. It was nominated for The Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2016 and translated into both Danish and Icelandic.

Kim Leine

Meet the Author

The moderator is Jón Yngvi Jóhannsson, Lecturer in Icelandic Literature at the University of Iceland. The interview will be held in Danish.

Kim Leine (1961) is a Norwegian-Danish writer. He was born in Norway, but moved to Denmark as a teenager. He lived and worked in Greenland for 15 years. His acclaimed debut novel, the autobiographical Kalak, is based on his time and experiences in Greenland. Many of his books are set in Greenland, including the novel Profeterne i Evighedsfjorden (published in English as The Prophets of Eternal Fjord in 2015), in which the young Norwegian-Danish priest Morten Falck travels to late 18th-century Greenland to spread the word of God. For this novel, Kim Leine was awarded De Gyldne Laurbær (The Golden Laurel), one of Denmark‘s major literary prizes, in 2012 and the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2013.
His latest novel, published in 2016, is called De søvnløse. Kim Leine has been translated into 20 languages.

Lars Mytting

Meet the Author

LARS MYTTING (1968) is a Norwegian author and journalist. A few years ago, he had great success with the book Hel ved (published in English as Norwegian Wood), in which he extensively goes into the concepts of firewood and fire. The book is packed with facts about the purchase of wood, how to stack and dry firewood, and make a fire, but it also contains chapters about forest management, environmental aspects, the history of chainsaws and different types of fireplaces.

His major international breakthrough came with the novel Svøm med dem som drukner from 2014, a rich family chronicle with classic ingredients such as love, war and identity. It deals with an orphaned farmer’s son who goes out into the world to find his roots, a story that is closely intertwined with the great tragedies in Europe in the 20th century. The novel was awarded the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize in 2014 and has been translated into several languages. This spring, the novel will be published in Icelandic and in autumn it will be available in English with the title The Sixteen Trees of the Somme.

The moderator is Silje Beite Løken, translator and Counsellor for Cultural Affairs at the Norwegian Embassy in Reykjavik. The interview will be held in Norwegian.

Dorthe Nors

Meet the Author

DORTHE NORS (1970) is a Danish writer and translator. Since her debut novel Soul came out in 2001, she has published four more novels, a collection of short stories and a book of poetry. She made her international breakthrough with the short story collection Kantslag from 2008, which has been translated to English and Swedish. Kantslag was published as Karate Chop in the United States in 2014 and in the same year, Nors was awarded the P.O. Enquist Literary Prize.

Dorthe Nors’ latest novel Spejl, skulder, blink was published in 2016. It is a novel about loneliness and how difficult it can be to move to a big city without having a proper network to rely on, about strained family relations and perhaps also about dreaming back to something that no longer exists.

The moderator is Gísli Magnússon, lecturer in Danish at the University of Iceland, and the interview will be held in Danish.

Katarina Frostenson (Part 2)

Meet the Author

Katarina Frostenson has since long been part of the most respected poets in the Nordic countries and has received many significant prizes for her works. Since 1992, she has been a member of the Swedish Academy, which annually elects the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Katarina Frostenson will be our guest at a special edition of the Meet the Author series in the Nordic House on Monday 5 December at 7.30 p.m., when she will be interviewed by Icelandic writer and translator Þórdís Gísladóttir.

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