Scandinavian authors such as Lena Andersson (SE), Kirsten Thorup (DK), Iben Mondrup (DK / Greenland), Sandra Lillebø, Jón Kalman Stefánsson (IS), Per Petterson, Elin Anna Labba (SE), Bergsveinn Birgisson (IS), Kjell Westö (FI), Zeshan Shakar, Katarina von Bredow (SE), Asta Olivia Nordenhof (DK), Erika Fatland and Kim Fupz Aakeson (DK) have been confirmed for The Norwegian Festival of Literature 2021. 

During the Corona pandemic we have observed an increased interest in our Scandinavian neighbours. The crisis has brought about great and, for many, previously unknown differences between these nations. Countries that are geographically close to each other have chosen significantly different strategies for dealing with the pandemic, rooted in different cultural and political ideologies, expressed through, for example, political speeches and popular engagement.

How well do we know our neighbors?
Closed borders have caused us to reflect on the fellowship of the Scandinavian countries and during the festival, from Tuesday 25 to Sunday 30 May 2021, we will examine how Scandinavian authors relate to each other across national borders? Why is it that Norwegians, Danes and Swedes do not read each other’s literature in their respective mother tongues? What binds us together – and what separates us?

Among other things, the festival audience can look forward to a festival edition of the popular pan-Scandinavian radio program “Norwegian, Swedish and Danish” with Åsa Linderborg (SE), Hassan Preisler (DK) and Hilde Sandvik on stage.

Our new artistic advisor for The Norwegian Festival of Literature Marit Eikemo, reveals to the public through a new program series, «Nordic traumas», the recent August prize winner Elin Anna Labba talking about the displacement of Sami in Norway and Sweden, as well as Per Petterson and Asta Olivia Nordenhof discussing Scandinavian Star.

An adjusted festival.
Festival director Marit Borkenhagen says that this year’s Norwegian Festival of Literature provided practical experience that will serve as invaluable guidance in the planning of next spring’s festival, which will also require adjustments and good infection management.

– Above all we have learned how important it is to have shared cultural experiences and literary meeting places, says Borkenhagen who insists that the ambitions for next year are high.

Festival passes for 2021 are now available for purchase; please be aware that most of the 2021 programme will be in Norwegian. <> buy now before Christmas and you will receive a free tote bag with your purchase.