Alf Prøysen

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Alf Prøysen
Hjemme hos Alf Prøysen med familie i nytt hus i Nittedal (1964).jpg
Alf Prøysen with his typewriter in 1964
Born(1914-07-23)23 July 1914
Died23 November 1970(1970-11-23) (aged 56)
Resting placeCemetery of Our Saviour, Oslo, Norway
Occupationauthor, poet, playwright and musician
Notable work
Dørstokken heme (1945)
Spouse(s)Else Storhaug (1948–2015)
AwardsArts Council Norway Honorary Award

Alf Prøysen (23 July 1914 – 23 November 1970) was a Norwegian author, poet, playwright, songwriter and musician. Prøysen was one of the most important Norwegian cultural personalities in the second half of the twentieth century. He made significant contributions to literature, music, television and radio. He is most noted for his series of books featuring the fictional character Mrs. Pepperpot (Norwegian: Teskjekjerringa, Swedish: Teskedsgumman) which established him as a children's author.[1][2]


He was born at Rudshøgda in Ringsaker in Hedmark county, Norway. He was the son of Olaf Andreassen (1880-1959) and Julie Mathiasdatter (1879-1961). He was raised as the youngest of four children born to a rural farm family.[3] [4]

Statue of Alf Prøysen at Rudshøgda in Ringsaker by Sivert Donali
Prøysenhuset at Rudshøgda in Ringsaker
Exhibit at Prøysenhuset


Prøysen contributed to many artistic fields: children's radio, short stories, theater and music. Most of his stories and songs took place in an environment similar to the rural village where he grew up. In 1945 he debuted with the novel collection Dørstokken heme. His only novel Trost i taklampa (1950) was a success both as a book and as a play. He was frequently featured on radio and television programs during the 1950s and 1960s. Prøysen was awarded the Norwegian Cultural Council Honorary Prize (Norsk kulturråds ærespris) in 1970. [5]

The largest part of Prøysen's writing consisted of short stories. Much of his production was made for children. The first stories about Teskjekjerringa were published in the magazine Kooperatøren. In 1956 the first book of a series about Teskedsgumman was published in Swedish. The first Norwegian publication appeared in 1957. The first book appeared in English in 1959 with the titled character named Mrs. Pepperpot. [6]

Personal life[edit]

He married Else Storhaug (1916-2015) in 1948. They had two children, a daughter, Elin Julie and a son, Alf Ketil. Alf Prøysen died of cancer at aged 56. He was buried at Vår Frelsers gravlund in Oslo.[7]

Prior to Prøysen's 90th anniversary of his birth in July 2004, Prøysen's biographer Ove Røsbak – who had published his biography in 1992, wrote an article in Dagbladet.[8] Røsbak claimed that several of his sources confirmed that Prøysen had discussed his bisexuality during the 1960s.[9] Dagbladet also had an interview with gay activist Karen-Christine Friele in which she confirmed that Prøysen had told her about his love of men and his divided life.[10][11] This resulted in considerable debate. Dagbladet editor Knut Olav Åmås commented later that the debate revealed mixed feelings towards gay/bisexuality.[12][13] [14]


Prøysenhuset is a cultural center and museum located at Rudshøgda in Ringsaker. The center has an auditorium, gift shop, café and play ground. The main part of the museum is a permanent exhibition that tells of the life and career of Alf Prøysen. It was designed by the architectural and engineering firm Snøhetta and was opened on 23 July 2014. It was financed by businessman and investor Arthur Buchardt and now operates as a department under the Cultural Office of the municipality of Ringsaker.[15][16] [17]

Teskjekjerringa series[edit]

  • 1960 -Teskjekjerringa på nye eventyr
  • 1965 - Teskjekjerringa i eventyrskauen
  • 1967- Teskjekjerringa på camping
  • 1970 - Teskjekjerringa på julehandel
  • 1989 - Teskjekjerringa på blåbærtur
  • 1990 - Teskjekjerringa og elgen
  • 1991 - Teskjekjerringa og den skjulte skatten
  • 1992 - Teskjekjerringa på basar


  1. ^ Erik Bjerck Hagen. "Alf Prøysen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  2. ^ Björn Sundmark. "Teskedsgumman – en publikationshistoria på tre språk". Barnboken – Journal of Children's Literature Research. Volume 37 (2014). Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  3. ^ "Alf Prøysen". Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  4. ^ "Om huset Prøysenhuset". Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  5. ^ "Norsk kulturråds ærespris". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  6. ^ "Alf Prøysen". Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  7. ^ "Vår Frelsers Cemetery (Oslo, Norway)". Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  8. ^ Ove Røsbak. "En annerledes Prøysen" [A different view of Prøysen]; Dagbladet 10. juli 2004
  9. ^ Ove Røsbak. "Han som var slem mot Prøysen : om Prøysen-debatten sommeren 2004 Archived 21 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine." [He who mistreated Prøysen, the Prøysen debate during the summer 2004]. In Samtiden; nr 2, 2007
  10. ^ Knut Olav Åmås. "I 1967 møttes Alf Prøysen, Elisabeth Granneman og Karen-Christine Friele til en samtale i Oslo." [In 1967, Prøysen, Granneman and Friele met in Oslo]; Dagbladet 23 July 2004
  11. ^ Knut Imerslund. "Sannheten – tåler vi den? Alf Prøysen og annerledesheten" [Can we take the truth, Prøysen and differentness] In Rau skulle kjolen vara : artikler om Alf Prøysen og hans forfatterskap. Oplandske bokforlag, 2005. ISBN 82-7518-121-6
  12. ^ Knut Olav Åmås. "Med Prøysen som speil " [Prøysen as a mirror]; Dagbladet 20 July 2004
  13. ^ Olav Andre Manum. "-det finns så mange lengsler å spekulere i : Alf Prøysen i en homolitterær tradisjon". In Bokvennen; nr 3, 2005
  14. ^ associate professor Britt Andersen of NTNU; interviewed in Klassekampen, 17 April 2008
  15. ^ "Prøysenhuset". Innovation Norway. June 21, 2017. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  16. ^ "Prøysenhuset". Snøhetta. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  17. ^ "Arthur Buchardt". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved November 1, 2017.

Other sources[edit]

  • Bjørn Ivar Fyksen (2013) Alminnelige arbesfolk om Alf Prøysens prosaforfatterskap (Oplandske bokforl)ISBN 9788275182164
  • Helge Hagen & Dag Solberg (1984) Med en fiol bak øret. En Bok Om Alf Prøysen (Tiden Norsk Forlag) ISBN 9788210025808
  • Ove Røsbak (1992) Alf Prøysen: Præstvægen og sjustjerna (Gyldendal Norsk Forlag) ISBN 978-8205209558
  • Maria Lassen-Seger (2014) Empowering Transformations: Mrs Pepperpot Revisited (Cambridge Scholars Publishing) ISBN 978-1443856997
  • Elin Tinholt (2004) Prøysen: ti stemmer om vennskap og viser (N. W. Damm & Søn) ISBN 9788204098894

Related reading[edit]

  • Alf Proysen (1960) Teskedsgumman (Raben & Sjogren) ISBN 978-9129583694 Swedish
  • Alf Proysen (1978) Fortellingene om Teskjekjerringa (Tiden Norsk Forlag) ISBN 978-8210016424 Norwegian

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Hans Peter L'Orange
Recipient of the Norsk kulturråds ærespris
Succeeded by
Alf Rolfsen