The Crown Princess visited New York in conjunction with the UN conference on AIDS, but also found time to meet Johan Harstad at a launch-event hosted by Consul General Sissel Breie.
In recent years, Norwegian authors have received a warm reception in the United States. Both Per Petterson and Jo Nesbø have garnered media attention as well as respectable sales figures.
In many ways, literature is an art form that inspires communication. Translation makes it possible for people of different nations to share the same experiences, thoughts and emotions in what must be said to be international communication in the true meaning of the word. For a country like Norway, with a language that is spoken by around five million people, translating high quality literature will always be an important effort.
- For me, reaching an international audience with our literature is about showing who we are, about participating in the global conversation with our stories. Not only do politics or economics shape the world. Literature, just like music, theatre and film, forms part of the greater conversation and gives us a better understanding of the world in which we live. Can books change the world? Maybe not, however, people change the world and they are influenced by what they read. In such a way it’s easy to understand why literature, which is formed by fantasy, ideas and reflection, is so powerful, said Consul General Breie in her introduction of Harstad.
Present at the reception were an easy mix of American publishers, media and NORLA; who took advantage of their visit to New York to further the cause of literature in translation by presenting contemporary Norwegian fiction and non-fiction to several interested publishers in the city.