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.