Augsburg News

News Archives - 1997

Nordic Center at Augsburg College to Host Prize-Winning Norwegian Writer

Jan. 02, 1997

Nordic Center at Augsburg College through its annual Nordic Writer program brings to Minnesota, February 18-27, 1997, the acclaimed Norwegian short story writer and novelist Øystein Lønn. He is the 1996 winner of the prestigious Nordic Council Prize for Literature, the "Pulitzer" of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

A highlight of Lønn's visit will be a multimedia presentation on Tuesday, February 25, at which he will read from his work. Norwegian music and art will also be featured. The event, slated for 7:30 p.m. at Sateren Auditorium, Augsburg College, is free and open to the public. The evening will include Lønn's awarding of the Verdandi Prize for Young Writers to the winning entry in a high school competition sponsored by Nordic Center. Entrants submit a piece of creative writing inspired by Lønn's work.

Lønn's ten-day visit will include classroom presentations, informal discussions, and public appearances in the Twin Cities. He will meet with students and faculty at local high schools and at a number of midwestern colleges, as well as with Minnesota authors.

The collection of short stories for which Lønn won the Nordic Council prize is titled What should we do today and other short stories. Lønn places his characters in common, everyday situations that reflect life journeys often compromised by fear, boredom, and loneliness, but there are touches of warmth, too. His writing is concise and clear, yet full of double meanings that layer mundane reality with the mysterious. The disintegration of the welfare state figures in two of the stories, and his masterful creation of atmosphere such as Nordic light in summer and winter is notable in others.

Lønn, who published his first book in 1966, has written eight novels in addition to his four short story collections. He also writes for film and has worked as a journalist. Sometimes called an author's author, in 1993 he won both the Norwegian Literary Critics' Prize and the Publishers' Prize.

The Nordic Writer program is supported by a grant from Nordic Cultural Fund. Chairperson for this year's program is Frankie Shackelford, Associate Professor of Norwegian at Augsburg College.

For more information, e-mail Nordic Center, or call (612) 330-1340.