The Norwegian Festival of Literature
The Literary festival in Lillehammer – the most important literary meeting place during springtime.
The Norwegian Festival of Literature is the largest of its kind in the Nordic countries, with a diverse program catering to readers of all ages. Would you like to experience authors live and discuss literature and current affairs with likeminded people? At the end of May each year, literature fills the streets of Lillehammer. We guarantee words that will move you and experiences that will take you a step further.
6 days – 26 000 visitors – 400 writers and artists from all over the world!
The small and idyllic city of Lillehammer offers a warm and friendly atmosphere with it’s green sorroundings. Lillehammer used to be housing two Nobel Laureates: Sigrid Undset at Bjerkebæk from 1919 – 1949 and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson at Aulestad from 1875 – 1910.
The festival has events for both families and an adult culturally curious audience. Experience on stage conversations, debates, lectures, readings, award ceremonies, exhibitions, seminars, shows, quizzes and other festivities. Among the authors who have attended the festival earlier years, you will find names such as Karl Ove Knausgård, Svetlana Aleksijevits, J.M. Coetzee, Herta Müller, Adonis, Margaret Atwood, Edouard Louis, etc.
The former residences of two Noble Prize winners in literature
In Lillehammer and the neighbouring municipality of Gausdal we find the homes of two of Norway’s three winners of the Nobel Prize in literature, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (Nobel Prize in 1903) and Sigrid Undset (Nobel Prize in 1928). The author residences Aulestad and Bjerkebæk are open to the public, offering guided tours, special events and performances. Both locations have new public facilities with visitors centres and cafés. The Norwegian Festival of Literature started out as a festival about Sigrid Undset and her literary works. A Sigrid Undset lecture is included in the festival programme every year. In collaboration with Lillehammer University College, the festival also schedules a lecture every year in Bjørnson’s name. Both Bjørnson and Undset demonstrated a strong civic and social commitment. Bjørnson fought for small nations’ right to freedom and independence and as time passed he became more and more involved in peace-related issues. Undset was a clear voice in opposition to the racial theories of Nazi Germany and her attitude towards Nazism and involvement in the situation of the Jews led to her having to flee the country when Norway was occupied in 1940.