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Visited “Norwegian” book shop in Berlin

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess are travelling through Germany to promote Norwegian literature. On Saturday they visited the capital city of Berlin, stopping at the Pankebuch book shop, which specialises in Norwegian and Nordic literature.


“I grew up in East Berlin and dreamt of seeing the world. But the only way of traveling was through reading books”, Petra Wenzel told when explaining where her love for Nordic literature came from.

Pankebuch’s two owners, Petra Wenzel and Katrin Mirtschink, work every day to generate a wider readership for Nordic literature. The considerable attention that authors such as Maja Lunde and Karl Ove Knausgård have garnered in recent years has led to a clear rise in interest.

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were given a tour of the book shop and a presentation of the selection of works, as well as what the owners are doing to expand the focus on Nordic literature.

The Crown Princess talked to the press after the visit. (Foto: Simen Løvberg Sund / Det kongelige hoff)
“People working in bookstores have an extremely important job of connecting authors and readers. I have discovered many authors through great recommendations from people working in bookstores”, the Crown Princess said after the visit.

On Monday, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess will begin their trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair, where Norway is this year’s Guest of Honour. They will be conducting a literary train tour from Berlin through Cologne and Hannover to Frankfurt, with events to be held along the way for children and young people.  


Frankfurt Book Fair

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest and most important of its kind in the world. It takes place during a week in October. The first three days are devoted to the publishing business. Then the doors are opened to the public. The German book market is the second largest in the world.

Book and media people from 125 countries meet here to buy and sell rights. The fair draws some 300 000 visitors a year. About 10 000 journalists from around the world cover the event.

Norway is the fair’s Guest of Honour for 2019 – the result of a major collective effort by the Norwegian book industry. Norwegian Literature Abroad (NORLA) has taken the leadership role. Among the main goals is to feature new literary voices.

The Guest of Honour nation receives a great deal of attention across Germany. In Frankfurt, the Guest of Honour is spotlighted at many events throughout the autumn within all fields of art and culture.

Other Nordic countries honoured in this way found the experience to be highly positive. Finland was Guest of Honour at the fair in 2014 and Iceland in 2011.



The Crown Princess and literature

The Crown Princess loves to read and is passionate about books. She wants to share her reading pleasure and spread great literature, and she is convinced that there is a book for everyone.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit participates regularly in a wide variety literary events – from reading time for children in the Palace Park, to literature festivals and library visits. The Norwegian Library Association is one of the organisations under her patronage. The Crown Princess also tries to arrange meetings about Norwegian literature during official visits to other countries.

In 2017, the Crown Princess took on the role of ambassador for Norwegian literature abroad. 

Among the Crown Princess’s literary activities, however, there is one that stands out in particular: her literary train tour. In recent years the Crown Princess has embarked on a literary train tour each spring, with events at libraries and houses of literature along the way.

The Crown Princess at home at Skaugum preparing for the literary train tour 2018. Photo: Christian Lagaard, The Royal Court

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