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.
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.
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.
Widely known as the Norwegian queen of crime, author Karin Fossum has penned award-winning masterpieces such as Don't Look Back and Calling Out for You, both part of her Inspector Sejer crime series. Initially a poet, she briefly also worked for drug rehabilitation campaigns in nursing homes.
Known for redefining Norwegian poetry, Henrik Wergeland is known for his iconic works such as Creation, Humanity, and Messiah and Jan van Huysum’s Flowerpiece. He fought for the constitutional rights of Jews and became a symbol of Norwegian independence, in spite of his early death at 37.
Norwegian lexicographer and philologist Ivar Aasen developed the written standard of Nynorsk, or New Norwegian, one of the official languages of Norway. He broke away from the Danish-influenced Norwegian language and penned poems and plays in the other dialect. The Ivar Aasen Centre, named after him, now preserves the Nynorsk language.
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.
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.
Apart from being a fine poet, Arnulf Øverland was also a talented painter. His politically motivating poems, which inspired people to join the Norwegian resistance movement and oppose Nazism, got him arrested and later sent to a concentration camp. You Must Not Sleep! remains one of his best-known works.
Skalla-Grimr was a Norwegian poet and sailor. He is credited with leading a group of settlers from Norway to Iceland. Skalla-Grímr and his legacy form a major part of a famous Icelandic saga titled Egils saga.
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.
Best remembered for his hymns and topographical poems, such as The Trumpet of Nordland and The Norwegian Song of the Valley, legendary Norwegian poet Petter Dass was also a priest. He spent his entire life as a pastor in Alstahaug. Most of his works were published after his death.
Norwegian poet Johan Sebastian Welhaven is remembered for his marked dislike for extreme nationalism in the works of some of his contemporaries. He is best remembered for his criticism of Henrik Wergeland. Primarily a lyric poet, he penned works such as The Dawn of Norway. He also worked as a philosophy lecturer.
Born to a poor farmer, Aasmund Olavsson Vinje struggled to get a law degree. Finding it difficult to sustain a living by teaching, he became a journalist and then launched his own newspaper. He is chiefly remembered for his poems and travel writing, such as Travel Memoirs from the Summer of 1860.
Pakistani actor Sonia Khan started her entertainment career as a child actor and later became one of the most prominent names of Lollywood. Known for her films such as Dhanak and Sahiba, she moved to Norway following her marriage, only to make a comeback later with the series Saya-e-Dewar Bhi Nahi.
Johan Herman Wessel was a Danish-Norwegian poet, playwright, and satirist whose works are characterized by the use of satiric wit and parody. One of his satirical plays titled Kierlighed uden Strømper is performed even today! Johan Herman Wessel is also credited with writing Anno 7603, which is widely regarded as one of the first fictional works that discuss time travel.
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.
Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most important Norwegian poets, Herman Wildenvey published 44 books of poetry during his illustrious career. He is also remembered for his translations of popular writers like Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare, and Heinrich Heine. Herman Wildenvey's work earned him the Gyldendal's Endowment award in 1935.
Olaf Bull was a Norwegian poet and polymath who excelled in modern and classical literature, philosophy, history, science, and politics. Best remembered for his 1909 poetry collection titled Digte, Olaf Bull is considered the most important Norwegian poet of his generation.
Olav Aukrust was a Norwegian teacher and poet best remembered for his 1916 poem Himmelvarden. Aukrust is credited with popularizing Nynorsk as a literary language. Nordgard Aukrust, a farm where Olav Aukrust lived most of his life, is now a popular tourist attraction.
Magnus Brostrup Landstad was a Norwegian poet, parish priest, and hymn writer. He is credited with publishing the first collection of Norwegian traditional ballads in 1853. He is remembered for incorporating contemporary Norwegian language into his hymns, which contributed greatly to Norwegian romantic nationalism. His most prominent hymnal Landstads kirkesalmebog was used by the Church of Norway for many years.
Gunnar Heiberg was a Norwegian poet, journalist, playwright, and theatre critic. An important exponent of Expressionism, Heiberg is widely regarded as the most prominent Norwegian playwright after Henrik Ibsen. Some of his best-known plays are Kjærlighedens Tragedie and Balkonen.
Johan Nordahl Brun was a Norwegian dramatist, poet, politician, and bishop of Bergen. He is best remembered for his significant contribution to the growth of romantic nationalism in Norway. An influential poet, Johan Nordahl Brun is credited with writing Bergen's anthem as well as Norway's first unofficial national song.
Tore Ørjasæter was a Norwegian poet and educator whose poetry helped popularize Nynorsk as a literary language. Although a qualified teacher, his love for writing kept him occupied for most of his life. Tore Ørjasæter was a recipient of several prestigious awards including the Dobloug Prize, Gyldendal's Endowment, and Melsom Prize.
Nils Collett Vogt was a Norwegian poet, dramatist, and novelist. Vogt, who opposed conservatism at a young age, started off by writing radical newspapers articles at the age of 17. He then went on to write many poems and novels. Among his best known work is his autobiography From Boy to Man which was published in 1932.
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.