Per Petterson, winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2009
July 18, 1952 |
Per Petterson (born 18 July 1952, Oslo) is a Norwegian novelist. His debut book was Aske i munnen, sand i skoa (1987), a collection of short stories. He has since published a number of novels to good reviews. To Siberia (1996), set in the Second World War, was published in English in 1998 and nominated for the Nordic Council's Literature Prize. I kjølvannet, translated as In the Wake (2002), is a young man's story of losing his family in the Scandinavian Star ferry disaster in 1990 (Petterson himself lost his mother, father, younger brother and a niece in the disaster); it won the Brage Prize for 2000. His 2008 novel Jeg forbanner tidens elv (I Curse the River of Time) won The Nordic Council's Literature Prize for 2009, with an English translation published in 2010.
His breakthrough novel was Ut og stjæle hester (2003), which was awarded two top literary prizes in Norway – the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature and the Booksellers’ Best Book of the Year Award. The 2005 English language translation, Out Stealing Horses, was awarded the 2006 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (the world's largest monetary literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English (€100,000). Out Stealing Horses was named one of the 10 best books of the year in the December 9, 2007 issue of the New York Times Book Review.
Petterson is a trained librarian. He has worked as a bookstore clerk, translator and literary critic before becoming a full-time writer. He cites Knut Hamsun and Raymond Carver among his influences .
Petterson's works have been translated into almost 50 languages.
- 1987 – Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes (Aske i munnen, sand i skoa) - translated into English by Don Bartlett, 2013
- 1989 – Ekkoland
- 1992 – It's Fine By Me (Det er greit for meg) – translated into English by Don Bartlett, 2011
- 1996 – To Siberia (Til Sibir) – translated into English by Anne Born
- 2000 – In the Wake (I kjølvannet))
- 2003 – Out Stealing Horses (Ut og stjæle hester )
- 2004 – Månen over Porten
- 2008 – I Curse the River of Time (Jeg forbanner tidens elv)
- 2012 – I refuse (Jeg nekter)
- 2015 – Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes, translated by Don Bartlett (first story collection re-issued April 7, 2015, by Graywolf Press.)
- 2015 – I Refuse, translated by Don Bartlett (April 7, 2015 Graywolf Press, first printing in the United States.)
Awards and Prizes
- Nordic Council's Literature Prize 2009
- Brage Prize 2008
- Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature 2008
- International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2007
- One of the 5 Best Fiction Books of 2007, New York Times
- One of the 10 Best Fiction Books of 2007, Time Magazine
- A New York Library Book to Remember 2007
- Le Prix Mille Pages 2007
- Le Prix Litteraire Europeen Madeleine Zepter 2007
- Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2006
- Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature 2003
- Norwegian Booksellers' Prize 2003
- Brage Prize 2000
- Novelist Per Petterson on Voice, Landscape and His "New" Novel, To Siberia – Tom Christie in LA Weekly, December 9, 2008
- Per Petterson at Aschehoug Agency
- Per Petterson at Forlaget Oktober
- Bookbrowse.com – Book Summary and Media Reviews for Out Stealing Horses
- "A Northern Light: Per Petterson's Poignant Family Tales Have Placed Him on the Literary Map" – Bob Thompson, Washington Post Staff Writer, December 26, 2007
- PEN World Voices: Language Within Silence, Joy E. Stocke
- "Per Petterson: A Family Approach To Fiction" by Lynn Neary, NPR, September 26, 2010
- "Late and Soon. The novels of Per Petterson". By James Wood, The New Yorker, December 10, 2012.
- I Curse the River of Time – Bob Thompson[disambiguation needed] in The Washington Post, August 10, 2010
- I Curse the River of Time – Rachel Cusk in The Guardian, July 10, 2010
- I Curse the River of Time – Stacey D'Erasmo in The New York Times, August 13, 2010
- I Curse the River of Time – Susan Salter Reynolds in Los Angeles Times, August 21, 2010
- Out Stealing Horses – Thomas McGuane in The New York Times, June 24, 2007
- Out Stealing Horses – Paul Binding in The Independent, November 6, 2005
- Book review of Out Stealing Horses at Prairieprogressive.com.