The Norwegian Feeling for Real

'Leopard VI: The Norwegian Feeling for Real', launched in the UK by the Queen of Norway, is a collection of the most exciting and interesting short fiction being produced now and over the past four decades by Norwegian writers.

The 28 stories have been chosen by Professor Harald Bache-Wiig, scholar and critic, and his fellow editors Birgit Bjerck, the renowned Norwegian publisher, and Jan Kjærstad, critic, novelist and valued contributor to this volume. The anthology features stories by internationally famous writers including Jostein Gaarder ('Sophie’s World'), Karin Fossum ('The Inspector Sejer Mysteries'), Lars Saabye Christensen ('The Half Brother'), and Jan Kjærstad ('The Seducer'). 

The focus of the authors is, as the title of the anthology implies, in the real and raw concerns of contemporary life. The stories, set in both urban and pastoral landscapes, explore the conflict between the attraction of the new and the lure of the familiar, modernity versus tradition, new versus old. From frozen lakes to barber’s chairs, from the comical to the melancholy, from the absurd to the darkly sinister, from the light-hearted to the deeply philosophical, the range of these stories is testament to the vigour and depth of Norway’s literary genius. 

The anthology was launched by HM Queen Sonja of Norway at an event at Groucho Club, London, during the Norwegian Royal Visit to the UK in the end of October - read more.

'The Norwegian Feeling for Real' on BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 will air readings of four of the short stories from the anthology during the 'Afternoon Story' programme in early December:

  • 5 Dec, 3.30pm: Frode Grytten's ‘Dublin in the Rain’
  • 6 Dec, 3.30pm: Johny Halberg's ‘The Cock and Mr Gopher’
  • 7 Dec, 3.30pm: Kjell Askildsen's ‘The Dogs in Thessaloniki’
  • 9 Dec, 3.30pm: Karin Sveen's ‘A Good Heart’


(Published by The Harvill Press)

  • Hans Herbjørnsrud, ‘On an Old Farmstead in Europe’
  • Kjell Askildsen, ‘The Dogs in Thessaloniki’
  • Roy Jacobsen ‘Ice’
  • Johny Halberg ‘The Cock and Mr Gopher’
  • Jon Fosse, ‘I Could Not Tell You’
  • Lars Amund Vaage ‘Cows’
  • Ragnar Hovland ‘The Last Beat Poets in Mid-Hordland’
  • Lars Saabye Christensen ‘The Jealous Barber’
  • Karin Fossum ‘The Pillar’
  • Jostein Gaarder ‘The Catalogue’
  • Karin Sveen ‘A Good Heart’
  • Herbjørg Wassmo ‘The Motif’
  • Frode Grytten ‘Dublin in the Rain’
  • Tor Ulven ‘I’m Asleep’
  • Hanne Ørstavik ‘Love’
  • Tor Åge Bringsværd ‘The Man Who Collected the First of September 1974’
  • Bjørg Vik ‘A Forgotten Petunia’
  • Trude Marstein ‘Deep Need - Instant Nausea’
  • Kjartan Fløgstad ‘The Story of the Short Story’
  • Gro Dahle ‘Life of a Trapper’
  • Øystein Lønn, ‘It’s So Damned Quiet’
  • Laila Stien ‘Veranda with Sun’
  • Jan Kjærstad ‘Homecoming’
  • Beate Grimsrud, ‘The Long Trip’
  • Ingvar Ambojørnsen, ‘Skulls’
  • Merethe Lindstrøm ‘The Sea of Tranquillity’
  • Dag Solstad ‘Shyness and Dignity’
  • Per Petterson ‘The Moon over the Gate’

The anthology is available in good book stores now.
To read the review of the book in The Independent, click here.

Send this article to a friend
Print version

'Leopard VI: The Norwegian Feeling for Real' is available in book stores now