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Ambassador for Norwegian literature

Over the next few years Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit will have the special task of promoting Norwegian literature internationally.

26.04.2017

Norwegian literature is gaining popularity internationally, and there are exciting times ahead. One of the highlights is that Norway has been selected to be the Guest of Honour at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair, which is the world’s largest, most important book fair.

In her capacity as an ambassador for Norwegian literature the Crown Princess will participate in key events in connection with the Norwegian Guest of Honour project for the book fair in Frankfurt.

Norwegian literature conquers the world

“I am proud and pleased to serve as an ambassador for Norwegian literature in the process towards Frankfurt 2019. As we all know, Norwegian literature has won more space on international bookshelves in recent years,” said the Crown Princess in her speech to representatives of the Norwegian literature industry and other areas of the cultural sphere gathered at Sentralen centre in Oslo today.

I am proud and pleased to serve as an ambassador for Norwegian literature in the process towards Frankfurt 2019.

The organisation Norwegian Literature Abroad (NORLA) has brought together 250 of Norway’s most important stakeholders at its Planning and Input Conference – Frankfurt 2019. The conference marks the start of the process towards Frankfurt 2019. NORLA is responsible for carrying out the Norwegian Guest of Honour project.

Guest of honour at the world’s largest book fair

The Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Juergen Boos, also attended the conference.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest, most prestigious book fair. It is an extra bonus for Norway that the fair is held in Germany, which for years has been a door-opener for Norwegian literature to the rest of the world.

The fair attracts some 300 000 visitors each year.

Role of the Crown Princess

The role of the Crown Princess in promoting Norwegian literature will have an international framework, and will extend beyond 2019.

The Norwegian Government and NORLA believe that Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s dedication to literature enables her to make an important contribution to further strengthening the position of Norwegian literature abroad. For many years the Crown Princess has demonstrated a strong personal commitment to literature and to encouraging greater interest in reading, particularly among children and young people.

What would England be without Shakespeare? What would Germany be without Goethe? What would Norway be without Ibsen?

The Crown Princess began her speech today by pointing out how literature helps to shape us as individuals and as a society:

“What would England be without Shakespeare? What would Germany be without Goethe? What would Norway be without Ibsen? We could go on like this, country by country, around the world. Not to dwell on the old masters, but to illustrate how literature forges our identity. It helps to build nations. It helps to create our shared framework of references, our common heritage and our DNA – regardless of whether or not we know its origins. Literature helps to shape us – as individuals, as participants in society, as Norwegians, as Europeans and as citizens of the world.”

 

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Crown Princess Mette-Marit speaking at NORLA's input and planning conference. Photo: Christian Lagaard, the Royal Court.
Facts

Frankfurt Book Fair

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest, most prestigious book fair. The fair takes place during a week in October. The first three days are reserved for trade visitors, after which the doors are opened to the public. The German literature market is the second largest in the world.

Professionals from the publishing industry and the media in 125 countries gather at the fair to buy and sell rights. The fair attracts some 300 000 visitors each year. Some 10 000 journalists come from around the world to cover the event.

Thanks to a collective effort on the part of a unified Norwegian literature industry, Norway has been selected to be the Guest of Honour at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair. The organisation Norwegian Literature Abroad (NORLA) is heading the Frankfurt 2019 initiative. One of the main objectives is to promote new literary voices.

The Guest of Honour is the focus of considerable attention, not only at the book fair but throughout Germany. The Guest of Honour is given the opportunity to present itself at numerous events in Frankfurt in all fields of culture throughout the autumn.

Held on 26 April 2017, NORLA’s Planning and Input Conference – Frankfurt 2019 marked the start of the effort to develop the message and content of Norway’s cultural programme. The aim is to showcase the very best in Norwegian literature and culture.

Other Nordic countries have had the benefit of being Guests of Honour at the book fair as well. Finland held the title in 2014 and Iceland in 2011.