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Norwegian Festival of Literature

Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess opened the Norwegian Festival of Literature in Lillehammer this evening. The festival, which is the largest contemporary literature festival in the Nordic region, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.


The Norwegian Festival of Literature kicks off at the same time that Crown Princess Mette-Marit is travelling to Hamar on her literary train tour. For the second consecutive year, the Crown Princess has turned the Norwegian Royal Train Carriages into a library, and set out on a journey to bring the joy of reading to the Norwegian population in cooperation with the libraries in the train station cities along the route. This year the train is travelling from Trondheim to Hamar, and several authors are taking part in the activities. The authors will be discussing the topic of literature and identity in their meetings with the Crown Princess.

The stop at Lillehammer station corresponded with the opening of the Norwegian Festival of Literature, and it was Crown Princess Mette-Marit who opened the festival this evening.

Gave the opening remarks

The festival has a high international profile, which was apparent in the evening’s large opening event. In her remarks, the Crown Princess focused on the sense of community inherent in literature – on the encounter with a stranger who has read the same book as oneself:

“There are many such encounters during the Festival of Literature. They represent good moments in our lives. We give something of ourselves in these meetings with others – because our experience of literature is so deeply personal. What we read touches us because it resonates in our own lives. What we share is a reading experience combined with our own life experience. Together with readers and authors, we can be a little bit more ourselves, give more of ourselves. For what we are communicating about is not only literature, but pieces of our lives – for better and for worse.”

Following her remarks, the Crown Princess formally opened the 20th Norwegian Festival of Literature. The performance that followed included many encounters, especially between Chinese and Norwegian poetry and culture.

Lillehammer comes alive

During the festival, the town of Lillehammer hums with meetings with authors, readings, debates, lectures, award presentations, performances, art exhibitions, seminars, quizzes and other events. The aim is to highlight important authors and good literature, as well as to discuss relevant social topics.

Tomorrow the Crown Princess will host a literary gathering in the festival tent before continuing on her literary train tour.


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