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Friluftsliv or Lost in the Mountains: Nature Literature from Norway

December 7, 2021—6:30 pm8:30 pm

Join us on November 7 for a special Norwegian literary evening with authors Torbjørn Ekelund & Are Kalvø! Norway is known for its dramatic and beautiful nature, with fjords, mountains and endless hiking trails. Norwegians love to spend time outside, so called friluftsliv. In tonight’s event, get to know two fantastic authors with different approaches to nature. This event takes place live at Scandinavia House and will also be streamed virtually.

Torbjørn Ekelund is a writer, historian and part-owner of the online magazine Harvest. His book In Praise of Paths (Greystone Books, May 2020) takes readers on a fascinating journey from the first humans wandering across Europe, after the last ice age, up until present-day organized hiking trails. Woven together in narrative through philosophy, biology, literature, archeology and mythology, In Praise of Paths is about movement and residence, migration and shortcuts; about the fascinating migratory routes of birds and animals, and our inherent need to relocate; and also about what has been lost in an age where we all sit in offices, and drive cars, and navigate using GPS on our smartphones.

City-dweller and stand-up comedian Are Kalvø grew up right in the middle of a postcard in northwestern Norway, surrounded by fjords and mountains that people from halfway across the globe travel to see. Yet he has never been much of an outdoorsman — once he moved to the city, he never looked back. This was never a problem until recently, when Kalvø began losing friends to the mountains. One day, Kalvø realized that he did not have a single Facebook-friend who had not posted a single photo of themselves on a mountain! In fear of missing out, he headed out to the mountains himself. His resulting adventures are compiled in the book The Hiking Book from Hell (Greystone Books, May 2022), and will be the basis for his stand-up presentation today.

Tonight’s event will begin with a literary talk with Ekelund in conversation with a moderator. Next, see a stand-up routine from Kalvø. After their presentations, the writers will hold a Q&A, followed by a book signing.

Registration is required for attendance at Scandinavia House; check back to this page for a registration link.

This program is co-presented with the Royal Norwegian Consulate General and NORLA (Norwegian Literature Abroad).


December 7, 2021
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm