Skip to main content

© Karina Halvorsen Gravdahl

This past weekend (26-28 April 2019), the first Tysk-Norsk (German-Norwegian) literary festival drew some 4,700 literature enthusiasts to Oslo’s House of Literature, exceeding organisers’ expectations. “We wanted to facilitate encounters between German-language and Norwegian authors and spark curiosity about young voices from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, some of which are still unfamiliar in Norway. To our great satisfaction, we succeeded one hundred percent”, says the writer Erik Fosnes Hansen, who helped launch the festival and was its artistic director. 

Norway is the Guest of Honour at this year's Frankfurter Buchmesse (16-20 October 2019). This is the first time that a Frankfurter Buchmesse Guest of Honour has organised a festival for its host in the run-up to the fair: During the three days of the “Towards Frankfurt” festival (26-28 April 2019), 70 events were held with a total of 105 participants, including 64 authors from Norway and 41 authors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Never before have this many German-language authors come together in Norway at the same time. The guests included Melinda Nadji Abonji, Nora Gomringer, Olga Grjasnowa, Judith Hermann, Jakob Hein, Volker Kutscher, Jonas Lüscher, Melanie Raabe, Christoph Ransmayr, Ferdinand von Schirach, Michelle Steinbeck, Aladin El-Mafaalani and many others. On the Norwegian side, participants included Vigdis Hjorth, Jostein Gaarder, Maria Kjos Fonn, Erlend Loe, Maja Lunde, Hanne Ørstavik and Simon Stranger, amongst others. The festival was opened on Friday evening in the presence of the Crown Princess of Norway Mette-Marit. 

The German-Norwegian literary festival was organised by five institutions in close cooperation with the writers Erik Fosnes Hansen and Helge Rønning: The Norwegian-German Willy Brandt Foundation, Frankfurter Buchmesse, Goethe-Institut, Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Association and the Norwegian Association of Literary Translators. The festival was supported by Bergesenstiftelsen (main sponsor) and Anders Jahres Humanitære stiftelse, Cappelen Damm forlag, Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus (German National Tourist Board), Den Norske Forleggerforening (Norwegian Publishers Association), Fritt Ord Foundation, Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, H. Aschehoug & Co. (W. Nygaard), Kulturrådet, Nasjonalbiblioteket - Bokåret 2019, NORLA, Pro Helvetia, Utenriksdepartementet, the Austrian Embassy in Oslo, Swiss Embassy in Norway, Oslo kommune and many others. 

Programme of the German-Norwegian literary festival 

Impressions from the literary festival: 

Website of the Frankfurter Buchmesse Guest of Honour Norway


About the Goethe-Institut 

The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach. With 159 institutes in 98 countries, it promotes knowledge of German abroad, encourages international cultural exchange and conveys an image of contemporary Germany. The Goethe-Institut’s ties with partner institutions in many other places, connecting about 1,000 points of contact around the world.


About Frankfurter Buchmesse

Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,500 exhibitors from 109 countries, around 285,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and some 10,000 accredited journalists and bloggers in attendance. It is the most important international marketplace for content – from novels and children’s books to academic databases and stories for films, games and virtual reality experiences. Publishing professionals from around the world meet here with partners from the technology sector and from related creative and cultural industries, sparking new partnerships and business models. A strong conference programme ensures that Frankfurter Buchmesse is a major source of inspiration for content experts from around the world. Since 1976, the book fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. Frankfurter Buchmesse organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association).