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Norwegian Festival of Literature in Lillehammer

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29 | May 09:00
30 | May 09:00
31 | May 09:00
The Norwegian Festival of Literature is the largest literature festival in the Nordic countries based on non capital values. Its main focus is Norwegian contemporary literature and the interaction between literature and society. In the past few years it has had an increasingly international profile with a particular focus on literature from the Nordic countries.
We find ourselves in the midst of a corona virus pandemic – literature and culture have become more important than ever before. Increasingly, it has become clear that the Norwegian Festival of Literature cannot proceed as originally intended, however we are fortunate to have excellent alternatives to cancellation.

Already this week, we are looking forward to the world’s smallest literature festival and the national Boklek (BookPlay) in a digital format. Late May we will hold a magnificent digital literature festival; in September there will be an extensive Pegasus festival in Lillehammer, and in November we will deliver the Sigrid Undset Days. Beyond this there will be reading circles and inh2idual events from time to time. In this way we hope that in this time of crisis we can continue to help spread the joy of reading nationally and internationally.

World’s smallest literature festival
On Thursday 26th March, at 2pm, we would like to welcome you to probably the smallest literature festival in the world. It will take place in the reading kiosk at Kjelsås, in Oslo. The originator of the reading kiosk Vidar Kvalshaug will be your host, in conversation with, amongst others, Nina Lykke, Kjersti Bjørkmo and Ragnar Hovland.

Boklek for children between 5 and 10 years old
Boklek, that is ‘BookPlay’, takes place annually at this time of year; it is a tour around the Innlandet region, where school children get to meet a children’s book author. This year’s tour – with writer and illustrator, Line Renslebråten, is unfortunately cancelled in its traditional form, but the good news is that it will rise again digitally, and will be available to all children throughout Norway.

Join us under the Polar ice caps for readings, drawing lessons and to learn more about life under the sea – all from the safety of your own living room.

Scandinavia’s largest digital literature festival
The 26th annual Norwegian Festival of Literature will meet the challenge of the current state of emergency. Authors expected in Lillehammer from as far afield as Spain, Argentina, Mexico, USA, Germany and Sweden will instead participate from home, to entertain audiences in their own homes. We are now working to ensure that the festival is available to many readers, to become the largest digital festival in Scandinavia.

Pegasus postponed until Autumn
Pegasus, our programme of events for children and youths, is postponed, but like a phoenix, will rise from the flames from September 21st – 25th, when hopefully schools and kindergartens will be up and running again, and ready to gather for reading and cultural nourishment. A week-long festival, here in Lillehammer, consisting of over 100 events, with places for 12,000 children and youths from across the country.

Sigrid Undset Days are back
The Norwegian Festival of Literature first saw the light of day 25 years ago, in the spring of 1995. The basis of the festival at that time was a seminar on Sigrid Undset’s writing, that had first started in 1993. In this corona-ravaged anniversary year we go back to these original roots, to where it all started at Bjerkebæk and invite you to the Sigrid Undset Days, exactly 100 years after the first publication of Kransen, from Undset’s masterpiece the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy.

The Norwegian Festival of Literature is the largest literature festival in the Nordic region. Its main focus is Nordic contemporary literature and the interaction between literature and society. The festival acquired the status of a “knutepunkt” festival in 2006 – a leading festival in its field in Norway − and also has a strong international profile.

In the end of May authors, literature and teeming crowds fill the streets of Lillehammer. The festival programme includes everything from meetings with authors, readings, debates, lectures, award ceremonies, art exhibitions, seminars, quizzes and other festivities. The objective is to present important authors and good literature, and to debate current social issues.
The next edition of the Norwegian Literature Festival will take place May 25-31, 2020 at Lillehammer. This time, the theme is the Spanish and Latin American literary world.

The Norwegian Festival of Literature has events for kindergarden and school children, as well as adult readers with different preferences and holds appeal for a broad reading audience. The festival is also Norway’s largest industry event for authors, translators, literary critics, publishers and librarians.

Among the authors who have taken part in the Norwegian Festival of Literature are J.M. Coetzee, Herta Müller, Amos Oz, Dag Solstad, Zadie Smith, Ellen Einan, Richard Ford, Per Petterson, Kate Morton, Adonis, Märta Tikkanen, William T. Vollmann, John Irving, Margaret Atwood, André Brink, P. O. Enquist, Aravind Adiga, Jean Echenoz, Shaun Tan, Ko Un, Jo Nesbø and Yahya Hassan.