Karl Ove Knausgard is a Norwegian author who achieved international prominence for writing six autobiographical novels named My Struggle. A critically acclaimed writer, Knausgård has won several prestigious awards such as the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature, Brage Prize, Jerusalem Prize, and Swedish Academy Nordic Prize.
Nobel Prize-winning Norwegian author Knut Hamsun, a leading figure of neo-romanticism, is best remembered for his novel Hunger, which narrated the tale of a starving writer. With little education, he had started his career as a shoemaker’s apprentice. He supported the Nazi occupation of Norway and was later imprisoned.
Marianne Ihlen was a Norwegian woman best remembered as the girlfriend and muse of popular Canadian singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen. Cohen dedicated many of his poems to Ihlen and their relationship, along with Marianne Ihlen's life and career, inspired the 2019 documentary movie Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love.
Linn Ullmann is a Norwegian journalist, author, and literary critic. Apart from writing popular novels, Ullmann also writes columns for leading Norwegian newspapers. Linn Ullmann is the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Gold Pen, Amalie Skram Prize, and Norwegian Readers' Prize.
Nobel Prize-winning Norwegian author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, the first Nobel laureate from his country, is regarded as one of The Four Greats of Norwegian Literature. He also penned the Norwegian national anthem and is known for books such as Absalom's Hair and short stories such as The Railroad and the Churchyard.
Johan Galtung is a Norwegian sociologist best known as the founder of a social science field called peace and conflict studies. He is also credited with founding the Peace Research Institute Oslo where he served as the director from 1959 to 1970. Renowned for his contribution to political science, economics, and history, Galtung won the Right Livelihood Award in 1987.
Sigrid Undset was a Norwegian novelist best remembered for her trilogy of historical novels, Kristin Lavransdatter. In 1928, she was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize for literature, which she donated on 25 January 1940 in order to support the Finnish war effort during the Second World War. A crater on Venus is named in her honor.
Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder, who specializes in children’s books, is perhaps best known for his work Sophie's World. He is also known for his signature use of meta-fiction in his works. He and his wife later also introduced the Sophie Prize, which was eventually discontinued due to lack of funds.
Best known for his sci-fi novels such as Epp and Lul, Norwegian author Axel Jensen had even penned manuscripts for animated movies and cartoon strips. Known for his unpredictable behavior, he had an unstable marriage with Marianne Ihlen, who later became Leonard Cohen’s muse. In his later years, he suffered from paralysis.
Apart from being a bestselling thriller author, Nigerian writer Anne Holt has also been a lawyer, a journalist, and Norway’s minister of justice. Mainly known for her Hanne Wilhelmsen series and Vik/Stubø series, she is a former US resident and now divides her time between Norway and France.
One of the most significant contemporary authors from Norway, Jon Fosse is best known as a playwright, but has also penned novels, short stories, poems, and children’s books. He has been journalist, has taught at a writing academy, and was also a consultant for the translation of the Bible into Norwegian.
While Per Petterson had always wanted to be an author and was trained as a librarian, he initially worked at a factory and then a bookstore, before stepping into full-time writing. Best known for books such as To Siberia, he also won the Norwegian Critics Prize for Out Stealing Horses.
Born to working-class parents in Denmark, author Aksel Sandemose moved to Norway at 17 and then worked as a lumberjack in Newfoundland. He later taught and also became part of the Norwegian resistance movement. Known for his iconic novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks, he also devised the fictional Jante’s Law.
Dag Solstad is a Norwegian novelist and short-story writer who won the Nordic Council's Literature Prize in 1989. He also received the Norwegian Literary Critics' Award three times, becoming the only author to do so. He is the author of nearly 30 books. He is married to theater critic and journalist Therese Bjørneboe.
Norwegian author Hans Henrik Jæger led the Kristiania Bohemians, a politico-cultural movement. A supporter of sexual liberty, he penned the controversial book Fra Kristiania-Bohêmen, which was labeled as pornography, thus leading him to prison. He later fled to Paris and stayed there for most of his later life.
B. Andreas Bull-Hansen is a Norwegian blogger, novelist, and YouTuber. He started lifting weights as a teenager and eventually turned professional. He enjoyed a successful athletic career before moving on to writing. He runs a successful blog and has a YouTube channel that has accumulated millions of views. He is also a published author with many books to his credit.
Norwegian author Thorbjørn Egner is best remembered for his contribution to children’s literature. Trained as an artist, he initially worked at an advertising firm. He later soared to fame with books such as Karius og Baktus and often illustrated his own works. He has received several awards, such as the Cappelen Prize.
Jens Bjørneboe wasn’t just an author but also practiced painting and taught at a Waldorf school. Beginning his writing career as a poet, he later penned novels such as Moment of Freedom and plays such as The Bird Lovers. Struggling with depression and alcohol issues, he later committed suicide by hanging.
O. E. Rölvaag was a novelist well-known for his writings on the Norwegian American immigrant experience. Born in Norway, he emigrated to America as a young man and studied at St. Olaf College in Northfield. He then pursued an academic career and also devoted himself to writing. He wrote in the Norwegian language and portrayed the experiences of Norwegian immigrants.
One of The Four Greats of Norwegian literature, Alexander Kielland was a qualified lawyer and also managed his own brickyard. He later soared to fame with his works such as Gift and was a prominent part of the literary movement of Realism. He had also been a mayor of Stavanger.
Camilla Collett was a 19th-century Norwegian writer. She was one of the first contributors to realism in Norwegian literature. An outspoken and independent individual, she is often referred to as the first Norwegian feminist. She became an honorary member of the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights at the time of its inception in 1884.
Nordahl Grieg was a Norwegian poet, novelist, journalist, and political activist. He was both a popular writer and a controversial public figure. He studied at the Royal Frederick University and became a journalist. He was a staunch anti-Nazi patriot and served in World War II as a war correspondent. He was killed while on a bombing mission to Berlin.
Jonas Lie is regarded as one of The Four Greats of Norwegian literature. An eye defect prevented him from pursuing his naval ambitions, and he became a lawyer instead. Known for works such as The Family at Gilje, he was a major part of the literary movement of Realism.
One of the most prominent naturalists of Scandinavia, Norwegian author Amalie Skram had 2 unsuccessful marriages, which was later reflected in her feminist written works. People of Hellemyr and Constance Ring remain 2 of her best-known works. She initially wrote using the pseudonym Amalie Mueller.
Arne Evensen Garborg was a Norwegian writer who championed the use of Landsmål (now known New Norwegian) as a literary language. He began his career as a newspaperman and founded the weekly Fedraheimen in 1877. He also wrote many thought-provoking novels. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature six times. He was married to writer Hulda Garborg.
Hans Olav Lahlum is a Norwegian crime author, historian, chess player, and politician. Well-known for his eccentricity and unconventional style, Hans Olav Lahlum was part of the longest interview ever in 2013, in which he was interviewed for more than 30 hours by Verdens Gang, setting a Guinness World Record.
Sigbjørn Obstfelder was a Norwegian poet and writer whose debut collection of poems is cherished as one of the earliest and finest examples of modernism in literature in Norway. Widely regarded as one of the late 19th century's most prominent figures in Norwegian literature, Sigbjørn Obstfelder's works are considered to be the literary equivalent of Edvard Munch's paintings.
Kjartan Fløgstad is a Norwegian author best known for his novel Dalen Portland which earned him the prestigious Nordic Council's Literature Prize. One of the best-known exponents of magic realism in Norway, Kjartan Fløgstad's work often depicts the social and economic transitions of the country as it evolves from being an agricultural culture to a post-industrial society.
Johan Falkberget was a Norwegian author whose works earned him 36 nominations for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. Apart from his illustrious literary career, Johan Falkberget is also remembered for his contribution to the popular newspaper Fjell-Ljom.
Olav Duun is often counted among the greatest writers in Norwegian literature. During his illustrious writing career, he received 24 nominations for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature; he once missed the award by one vote. Many of his well-known novels analyze the spiritual and psychological characteristics of peasant life.
Johan Borgen was a Norwegian author, critic, and journalist best remembered for his novel Lillelord which earned him the prestigious Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature in 1955. Over the course of his career, Johan Borgen also won other awards like the Dobloug Prize, Norwegian Booksellers' Prize, Nordic Council's Literature Prize, and a Nobel Prize nomination in 1966.
Sigurd Hoel was a Norwegian author best remembered for his 1927 book Sinners in Summertime, which was adapted into a movie in 1932 and in 2002. As the main consultant for Gyldendal publishing, Sigurd Hoel influenced a generation of Norwegian writers. In 1940, he was honored with the Gyldendal's Endowment award. In 1948, he received the prestigious Norwegian Booksellers' Prize.
Johan Bojer was a Norwegian dramatist and novelist best remembered for his works describing the lives of the fishermen and poor farmers. Many of his works were translated into foreign languages, earning him international recognition. Over the course of his career, Johan Bojer received five nominations for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature.
Oskar Braaten was a Norwegian playwright and novelist best remembered for his works that depict the life of factory workers in Oslo during a period of industrialization. Oskar Braaten is also remembered for his association with the Det Norske Teatret where he was an advisor and theater manager from its inception in 1915 until his death in 1939.
Hans E. Kinck was a Norwegian philologist and author who wrote short stories, essays, novels, and dramas. A respected literary figure, Kinck recieved seven nominations for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature during the course of his illustrious career. Such is the popularity of his works that composers like Eivind Groven and Wolfgang Plagge have written music to his works.
Alfred Hauge was a Norwegian novelist, journalist, educator, historian, and poet. Best known for his works describing the adventures of Cleng Peerson, Alfred Hauge achieved immense popularity and received several literary awards like the Gyldendal's Endowment, Melsom Prize, and Nynorsk Literature Prize. His work Legenden om Svein og Maria inspired composer Hallvard Johnsen to write an opera based on it.
Tryggve Andersen was a Norwegian poet, novelist, and story writer. Andersen had a fantastic literary debut as his work I Cancelliraadens dage, a historical novel collection of stories from the early 1800s, earned him an endowment and is generally viewed as a pioneer work with several analyses by many literary historians. Andersen has also been the subject of many artworks.