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Norwegian Authors You Should Know – Virtual Panel

October 27, 2020—2:00 pm3:30 pm

TUE—October 27—2 PM EDT

Nordic Authors You Should Know at Scandinavia House continues with a focus on Norwegian literature with Jan Grue, Roy Jacobsen, Kaja Kvernbakken, and Ruth Lillegraven., moderated by author and translator Karen Havelin. The event will begin with short readings of each of the authors’ work in both English and in Norwegian, followed by interviews with the authors and a conversation on Norwegian literature today.

Please send audience questions ahead of the discussion to Select questions will be chosen for a Q&A following the conversation. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above.

The program will be presented live and will later be available to stream from YouTube and Facebook. Nordic Authors You Should Know will continue with more events throughout the fall.

Support is provided by Norla.


Media support for the series is provided by the journal EuropeNow, published by the Council for European Studies at Columbia University.



Jan Grue is the author of the autobiographical and auto-theoretical book When the child was a child. A record of my body, winner of the 2018 Norwegian Critics’ Award for non-fiction and Norway’s nominee for the Nordic Council Literary Prize. He is a professor at the University of Oslo working in disability studies, rhetoric, and discourse analysis, and has since his literary debut Everything Under Control (2010) published five short story collections, a dystopian novel, and three non-dystopian children’s books. His books have been translated into English, Hungarian, Danish, Swedish, and Dutch.

Roy Jacobsen is a Norwegian novelist. Born in Oslo, he made his publishing début in 1982 with the short-story collection Prison Life (Fangeliv), which won Tarjei Vesaas’ debutantpris. He has won the prestigious Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature, has been nominated three times for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and twice for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. In 2017 alone he was shortlisted for both the Man Booker International Prize, as the first Norwegian author ever, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, for The Unseen, published in the UK in 2016 and North-America in 2020.

Kaja Kvernbakken is an author of poems, plays and a novel. Life with parents in the navy made her move all over Norway, but she now lives in Oslo. She has worked as a translator and editor, knit-wear designer, pizza chef and lifeguard, to mention just a few. Kvernbakken is now a full time writer. Her fictional debut The Scent of Chlorine (2019) tells the story of a talented, young swimmer, torn between her career and her family. The story is set at a military base in the north of Norway.

Ruth Lillegraven debuted with the poetry collection Big Bad Poems in 2005. Since then she has published a novel and the three further poetry collections, translated into several languages. She has also published six books for children and the play Cally. Her work has been nominated for several awards, and won, among others, The Brage-Prize and Nynorsk Literature Prize. Her latest novel, Deep Fjord is a great success with multiple international sales, as well as film rights to Nordisk Film. Read more on the author’s homepage:


Karen Havelin is a writer and translator from Bergen, Norway. She attended Skrivekunst-akademiet i Hordaland, and has a Bachelor’s degree in French, Literature, and Gender Studies from the University of Bergen and University of Paris Sorbonne. She completed her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University in May 2013. Her work has been published both in Norwegian and in English.

Her first novel, Please Read This Leaflet Carefully was published simultaneously in the U.S., the UK and Norway in spring 2019, from Dottir Press, Dead Ink Books and Cappelen Damm (norsk tittel Les pakningsvedlegget nøye).


October 27, 2020
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm