Jostein Gaarder

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Jostein Gaarder
Jostein Gaarder.jpg
Gaarder in 2009
Born (1952-08-08) 8 August 1952 (age 62)
Oslo, Norway
Occupation novelist, short story writer
Nationality Norwegian
Genre Children's literature, fiction
Notable works The Solitaire Mystery, Sophie's World, 'The Orange Girl'
Notable awards See below

Jostein Gaarder (Norwegian: [ˈjuːstaɪn ˈɡɔːrdər]; born in Oslo on August 8, 1952) is a Norwegian intellectual and author of several novels, short stories and children's books. Gaarder often writes from the perspective of children, exploring their sense of wonder about the world. He often uses metafiction in his works, writing stories within stories.

Gaarder was born into a pedagogical family. His best known work is the novel Sophie's World, subtitled A Novel about the History of Philosophy. This popular work has been translated into fifty-three languages; there are over forty million copies in print.[1]

In 1997, he established the Sophie Prize together with his wife Siri Dannevig. This prize is an international environment and development prize (USD 100,000 = 77,000 ), awarded annually. It is named after the novel.


Gaarder attended Oslo Cathedral School and the University of Oslo, where he studied Scandinavian languages and theology.[2]

Awards and prizes[edit]

Environmental and political activism[edit]

Jostein Gaarder has been involved in the promotion of human rights and sustainable development for several years, establishing the Sophie Prize in 1997.

He has also vehemently criticized the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the treatment of the Palestinians. In August 2006, Jostein Gaarder published an op-ed in one of the major daily newspapers in Norway, Aftenposten.[6][7] This was written in response to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict and condemned certain aspects of Israeli politics and Judaism. Gaarder also argued against recognizing the state of Israel in its current form. The article described Judaism as "an archaic national and warlike religion", contrasting it with the Christian idea that the "Kingdom of God is compassion and forgiveness". The op-ed resulted in the Jostein Gaarder controversy. Gaarder disputed allegations of anti-Semitism and sought to clarify that he did not mean to offend anyone. He stated that the piece was written in a state of moral outrage over the death toll in Lebanon.

List of works[edit]


  1. ^ (Norwegian) "Gaarder, Jostein". Aschehoug. Retrieved 2006-08-10. 
  2. ^ Radiawati, Ririn (19 October 2011). "The Wordy, Wonderful Craft of Curiosity". Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  3. ^ (Italian)"Albo d'Oro". Premio Bancarella. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  4. ^ (Norwegian) "Gaarder, Jostein". NRK. November 8, 2002. Retrieved 2006-08-10. 
  5. ^ "‘Sophie’s World’ author Jostein Gaarder and TCD Medical Officer for 30 years among distinguished recipients of Honorary Degrees at TCD". Trinity College, Dublin. December 16, 2005. Retrieved 2006-08-10. 
  6. ^ (Norwegian) "God’s chosen People". Aftenposten. 5 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-07. 
  7. ^ Gaarder, Jostein. ""God's Chosen People." Retrieved on 2006-08-25

External links[edit]