Successes for Norwegian literature in Israel

- I am delighted to learn that the Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgård is named 2017 Laureate for the Jerusalem Prize in Literature, says the Norwegian Ambassador Jon Hanssen-Bauer. - I congratulate him with this honor and wish him much success in his future work.

The ambassador looks forward to participating in the Jerusalem International Book Fair, which opens on Sunday 11 June. Karl Ove Knausgård’s first two volumes of his six-volume work My Struggle are already translated to Hebrew and the third will be published later this year. The Jerusalem Prize in Literature is a very high distinction, which is widely recognized.

- This huge success for Norwegian literature comes atop of the prize given by Ramat Gan to Dana Caspi for her translations of Dag Solstad in February this year and a series of Ibsen plays staged in Tel Aviv last fall, says the ambassador. – I am very proud of the successes of Norwegian literature over the last year, he adds.

- Israeli readers can also enjoy King Olav V, a book by Jo Benkow, the former Norwegian speaker of Parliament and the first of Jewish descent to hold such a high position in Norway. King Olav and Jo Benkow were close friends and conversational partners throughout many years. This book paints a portrait of the King and contemporary Norwegian history through this particular relation between the two men. The famous book earned Benkow the Norwegian Bookseller’s Prize, says Hanssen-Bauer.

2016 and 2017 were particularly good years for Norwegian literature in Israel. The Ambassador gives credit to gifted and dedicated translators as well as to publishers and distributors committed to promoting Norwegian literature in Israel. He points to the fact that the literary interest in Israel spans both older and contemporary literature. Ibsen still holds a strong position and is relevant more than 100 years after the original publication of his plays.

- I would like to express my deep gratitude to the excellent translators, Dana Caspi, Sabina Messeg, Ruth Spira, Shira Hefer, and Gad Kaynar for the meticulous and hard work they have done all these years. I am also grateful to the professional publishing houses such as Bavel, Modan, Carmel and Locus. We are thankful to the bookstores such as Steimatsky, who are promoting the books.

Per today, over 50 Norwegian books are translated and available to the Israeli readers. They can now enjoy novels by Dag Solstad, Kjell Askildsen, Jo Nesbø, Roy Jacobsen, Per Petterson to mention a few of the contemporary bestsellers in Norway. Other novelists and poets such as Olav Hauge, Tomas Espedal and Tarjei Vesaas are soon to be published in Israel.

- I encourage reading Norwegian literature, concludes Hanssen-Bauer. Reading our literature not only gives you an insight to our soul and mind. It holds up a mirror from afar that projects universal and eternal questions about the human condition, modernity and identity.

 

Below follows an excerpt of the contemporary Norwegian writers translated to Hebrew:

Kjell Askildsen

-         Tomas F’s Last Note to the Public (2011)

-         A Great Deserted Landscape (2014)

Merete Morken Andersen

-         Ocean of Time (2007)

Jo Benkow

-         From the Synagogue to the Lion’s Hill (2015)

-         Olav V (2016)

Lars Saabye Christensen

-         Half-brother (2008)

Karin Fossum

-         Calling out for you (2012)

-         The Caller (2017)

Gabi Gleichmann

-         The Elixir of Immorality (2014)

Olav Hauge

-         Elvi Burtanum Fjord (2003)

Roy Jacobsen

-         Child Wonder (2011)

-         The Invisible (2015)

Karl Ove Knausgård

-         My Struggle I (2013)

-         My Struggle II (2016)

Jo Nesbø

-         The Redbreast ( 2010)

Per Petterson

-         Out Stealing Horses (2007)

-         To Siberia (2009)

-         I Curse the Rover of Time (2011)

-         I Refuse (2014)

Dag Solstad

-         Eleventh Novel, Book Eighteen (2016)

Tarjei Vesaas

-         The Ice Castle (1977)

Herbjørg Wassmo

-         Dina’s Book (2000)

 

For a complete overview of the translated books, please visit the website of NORLA (Norwegian Literature Abroad).