Nina Lykke and Johan Harstad presented their works in Zagreb
This week was a bliss for book lovers and admirers of Norwegian authors in Zagreb, as the two award-winning Norwegian writers Nina Lykke and Johan Harstad were met with laughter and applause while visiting the city.
The atmosphere was excellent during the two quite different, yet also comparable conversations held at the library and during the literature festival. Lykke, known for her clever satire was accompanied by journalist and moderator Karmela Devčić, literary critic Patrik Gregurec, and translator Željka Černok, while introducing her literary breakthrough in Norway No, and a Hundred Times No at the library in the city center. Her humor and interesting observations regarding the Norwegian society, family and the feeling of dissatisfaction was highly inspiring and thought provoking.
Harstad on the other hand promoted Max, Mischa and the Tet Offensive in dialogue with literary critique and journalist Ena Katarina Haller at the Festival of World’s Literature at the Zagreb Youth Theatre. Similar to Lykke, he managed to intrigue the audience with his experiences, especially his perception of the Vietnam war and the conflicts in former Yugoslavia.
Lykke’s novel is a humoristic misanthropic family drama where the reader is introduced to Ingrid, Jan and their two sons, who do not seem to want to grow up. While Ingrid loses her illusions about her job and family life, Jan receives a promotion as well as falls in love with Hanne. The nuclear family is falling apart.
Max, Mischa and the Tet Offensive follows the faith of two different souls: the Norwegian theatre director Max Hansen who migrated to the US when he was just a child, and his uncle, the failed jazz musician who served in the Vietnam war. It is a novel about creating a home, art and homesickness, but also about those who went to Vietnam to fight and those who demonstrated against it.
Thank you for taking part in these conversations and keep on reading the books by Norwegian authors!
Nina Lykke is a Norwegian author known for her satirical work. She debuted in 2010 with the collection of short stories The Orgy and Other Stories, which nominated her for the Young Readers’ Critics’ Prize. Her breakthrough was in 2016 with No, and a Hundred Times No, a misanthropic family drama for which she won the Young Reader’s Critics’ Prize again. This was published in Croatia by Ljevak Publishing House.
The award-winning Johan Harstad made success in 2005 with the novel Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? Only three years later he won the Brage Price for 172 Hours on the Moon. He is multi-artistic, making his own book covers and illustrations, as well as writing in many different genres. His plays are staged on various stages. In 2016 he published Max, Mischa and the Tet Offensive, which became a huge success.
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs