These are fighting for the Nordic Council’s literature prize – NRK Kultur og underholdning

Vigdis Hjorth’s “Is Mother Dead” and Lars Amund Vaage’s “The Unfinished House” are the two Norwegian-language novels nominated to compete for the Nordic Book Prize, which will be awarded in October. In addition, Inga Ravna Eira has been nominated for a Sami language area.

– An unusually strong financial year

NRK’s ​​literary critic Marta Norheim has reviewed both novels, and is not surprised that they have been selected.

– These are books by two very established authors, so it is no bomb that these are nominated. At the same time, 2020 was an unusually strong financial year, so there are many books that could have been nominated. The jury is probably painfully aware of this, and also Tore Renberg, OIaug Nilssen and Karl Ove Knausgård could have participated. But there is only room for two, says Norheim.

NRK’s ​​literary critic Marta Norheim.

Photo: Javier Ernesto Auris Chavez / NRK

She describes Lars Amund Vaage’s “The Unfinished House” as one of the very best novels from last year.

– A very beautiful novel that is not without a touch of humor. It stood out last year, says Norheim.

Lars Amund Vaage (68), who had his breakthrough with the novel “Rubato” in 1995, has collected a large number of prizes, including the Brage Prize, the Critics ‘Prize and the P2 listeners’ novel prize.

Read NRK’s ​​review of «The unfinished house»

Continues the discussion

Norheim admits that Vigdis Hjorth’s “Is Mother Dead” is not among her favorites from the 61-year-old Oslo author.

– That book is more interesting than literary very exciting. But she continues the discussion that arose after “Heredity and environment”. Should a novel be read biographically if one knows that there are commonalities between the novel and the author’s biography? says Norheim.

Read NRK’s ​​review of “Is mother dead”

Norwegian-Sami Inga Ravna Eira from Karasjok is nominated from the Sami language area. for the collection of poems «Gáhttára Iđit».

Words we share. The book expedition moves to Karasjok and to author Inga Ravna Eira, Sami poet and communicator. Host Pia Rivelsrud’s Book Truck stops at 12 literary places throughout Norway. Here they talk about how the hometown has inspired the author in texts about love, lost dreams, childhood, hatred and happiness. We start from the local to say something about the universal, at Karasjok and elsewhere. (2:12)

Since the Nordic Council Literature Prize was awarded for the first time in 1962, 11 Norwegian authors have won the prize. The last time this happened was in 2015, when the prize went to Jon Fosse. Last year, the Nordic Council Literature Prize went to Monika Fagerholm from Finland for the novel “Who killed bambi?”.

Here are the 12 other candidates for the award:


«Money in your pocket. Scandinavian Star. Part 1 »by Asta Olivia Nordenhof (Roman)

(Read NRK’s ​​review)

“My jewelry box” by Ursula Andkjær Olsen. (Collection of poems).


«Bolla» by Pajtim Statovci. (Roman).

“Autofiction Poem” by Heidi von Wright by Heidi von Wright. (Poem).

The Faroe Islands

“I write on wet paper” by Lív Maria Róadóttir Jæger. (Poetry).


“Naasuliardarpi” by Niviaq Korneliussen. (Novel).


“About time and water” by Andri Snær Magnason. (Novel).

(Read NRK’s ​​article about Andri Snær Magnason)

«Methods for living» by Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir. Roman, Bjartur, 2019.

The Sami language area

“Gáhttára Iđit” by Inga Ravna Eira. (Poem).


“Strega” by Johanne Lykke Holm (Novel)

“Purity” by Andrzej Tichý. (Novellas).


“The Bridges” by Sebastian Johans. (Novel).

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