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LitFestBergen 2020


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The Bergen International Essay Competition

We are looking for new, excellent writing. The winner will receive EUR 2 500.


Nominated for cultural event of the year award

LitFestBergen is nominated for the Bergen Awards 2020.


LitFestBergen in the media

A selection of press coverage from this years festival.

Eivind Senneset

Opening speech 2020: the everyday

What is this “grey quiet day” that Olav H Hauge wrote about? Read festival director Teresa Grøtan's opening speech.


Nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize

Read two of the poems from Niillas Holmberg's nominated collection Juolgevuođđu here.


Festival weekend, part two

See photos from LitFestBergen 2020.


Festival weekend, part one

See photos from LitFestBergen 2020.


Opening day in photos

View photos from the opening day of LitFestBergen 2020.


Listen to podcast

Did you miss out on something at this year's festival? Look up LittPod.


Translation prizes awarded LitFestBergen books

The translation of Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa were among the winners at the Society of Authors´annual Translation Prizes.


A blank page. A dark stage

Festival author and dancer Tishani Doshi on the fearlessness required in both writing and dancing.


Youth programme: A very different city walk

Pupils from Bergen met Njabulo Ndebele, Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Tiril Broch Aakre and Doung Anwar Jahangeer. View a selection of photos here.


Bergen international literary festival 2020

Some highlights from this years festival.


Festival office

Here's all you need to know about opening times and tickets

Patrick Chamoiseau

“What’s happened to us is what’s happening everywhere today”

We will all be needing the concept of "créolité" in the coming years, believes author Patrick Chamoiseau

Innestengd i kvardag.jpg

Opening up from inside

Prisoners from the local Bjørgvin and Bergen jails will be on stage during this year’s LitFestBergen.

Tishani Doshi (1)

A dangerous dance for women

– India has made great strides forward in terms of sexual and gender freedoms. But still the stories of horror continue, says Tishani Doshi.

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Authors from 25 countries to Bergen

The full programme for the Bergen International Literary Festival 2020 has been published.

montasje sakprosa.jpg

Giving non-fiction an equal billing

A number of Norwegian non-fiction authors will be at LitFestBergen next February. “We’re making a commitment to factual literature because it embraces so many good works which combine interesting information with a good literary standard,” says festival director Teresa Grøtan.

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Great Norwegian storytellers to LitFestBergen

Laughter, new insights and surprises are among the qualities that make people keep reading good novels, says Lars Saabye Christensen. He and Ketil Bjørnstad are among the attendants when LitFestBergen welcomes some of Norway’s most prominent fiction writers. 

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Was Nelson Mandela too forgiving?

Young South Africans like poet Koleka Putuma are critical of Nelson Mandela and the idea of a "Rainbow Nation", while professor Njabulo Ndebele seeks to preserve Mandela's heritage. Both will attend the Bergen International Literary Festival next February. 

Khaled Khalifa

- The world has failed Syria

Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa (b. 1964), a finalist of the National Book Award for Death is Hard Work, lives in Damascus. Next February he will be in Bergen to talk about the daily life in Syria and the role of literature in conflict areas.


Sámi girjjálašvuohta: Dál álgá árgabeaivi

Makkár luottaid lea guođđán sápmelaččaid historjá vealahuvvon unnitlogu álbmogin sámi girjjálašvuhtii? Ja man guvlui lea nuorra, sámi girjjálašvuohta jođus?

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Refusing to objectify

Prize-winning short-story writer Laila Stien has consciously chosen not to use her knowledge of Sami life and culture in her own work. She will be at LitFestBergen in February.

Øyehaug og Ruefle

Hailing a unique creative voice

Some people place American poet and essayist Mary Ruefle in company with Anne Carson and Maggie Nelson. To Bergen author Gunnhild Øyehaug, though, she is in a class of her own.

Teresa Grøtan.jpg

An unusual look at the ordinary

The programme for next year's Bergen International Literary Festival aims to challenge our understanding of the ordinary, says festival director Teresa Grøtan.


Sami literature: everyday life making its appearance

What traces have the history of the Sami as an oppressed minority left in their literature? And what directions will this young literary movement take now?


An uprising veiled in silence

Risten Sokki’s great-grandfather was only 30 years old when he was beheaded after the Kautokeino rebellion in 1852. This traumatic family story found expression in the Sami writer’s first poetry collection.


Passionate discussion adds to the interest

The LitFestBergen reading circle will be tackling The Cry of Winnie Mandela on 7 November. We dropped by a recent meeting to learn why regular participants Jacob (30) and Lone (46) think it is worth attending.

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“An explosion of new literature”

The perspective of the majority, who were brutally suppressed by the apartheid regime, has now become the norm in new South African literature, says professor Njabulo Ndebele.

Chair Birthe Kåfjord Lange

LitFestBergen becomes independent foundation

Birthe Kåfjord Lange, who chairs the new board of trustees for the event, did not think she was in the target audience for literary festivals.


Reading circle with Raja Shehadeh

In the lineup for LitFestBergen 2020 is Palestinian lawyer and political activist Raja Shehadeh, recently described by The Observer as "Palestine's greatest prose writer".


Want to work as a volunteer?

You’ll gain new experience, a free festival pass and the chance to experience LitFestBergen from the inside.

kari Jegerstedt.jpg

Read up for LitFestBergen 2020

The Indian author and dancer Tishani Doshi (b 1975) will attend LitFestBergen 2020. Her poetry collection Girls Are Coming out of the Woods will be the first book to be discussed in the reading circle. 

LitFestBergen 2019

Kari Jegerstedt

LitFestBergen reading circle

Enjoy reading literature from all over the world? Read up on the festival authors together with others who share your interest in literature.

Publikum (1)

Want to help us improve?

Answer our short survey about LitFestBergen 2019.

Nell Irvin Painter (2)

Join the reading circle

Enjoy reading literature from all over the world? Read up on LitFestBergen authors together with others who share your interest.

PEN-postkortaksjon (1)

LitFestBergen media coverage

A selection of the media coverage from online newspapers.

Identitet og populisme

Listen to podcasts from LitFestBergen 2019

Miss out on something, or just want to listen to it again? Look up LittPod.

Livets uuthaldelege kvitheit

LitFestBergen 2019

See photos from the first LitFestBergen held in February 2019.

Ungdomsprogram, Helon Habila

Programme for pupils with Helon Habila and Marta Breen

Pupils from Rothaugen, St. Paul and Steinerskolen met Helon Habila and Marta Breen.

Teresa Grøtan, opninga

Opening speech LitFestBergen 2019

Speech from the opening of LitFestBergen, 14 February

Jorda rundt på 80 minutt

Welcome to the launch party

We will be celebrating the full programme for the Bergen International Literary Festival from 20.00-21.00 on Tuesday 29 January.

Programslepp montasje

Authors from more than 20 countries to new literature festival in Bergen

The first Bergen International Literary Festival for Non-Fiction and Fiction (LitFestBergen) will be staged from 14-17 February 2019 at Litteraturhuset i Bergen (the Bergen House of Literature).

Julekampanje 1

Give a book and a meeting with the author for Christmas

Looking for this year's Christmas present? You get a 10 percent discount on a festival ticket and the relevant book.

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

"Ugandans are fed up with reading about Idi Amin"

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi mostly avoids the colonial period and Idi Amin´s reign, in her historic novel about Uganda.

Dubravka Ugresic (3)

Experimental, literary grandmaster to Bergen

She is described as a genuinely free-thinker. In February you can meet Dubravka Ugrešić in Bergen.

Angela Saini

Did science get women wrong?

The award-winning science journalist Angela Saini shows how new research on women and men tell a completely different story than the one we have been told.


Norway's most prominent authors to LittfestBergen

We welcome Pedro Carmona-Alvarez, Tomas Espedal, Cecilie Løveid, Olaug Nilssen, Erlend O. Nødtvedt and Gunnhild Øyehaug.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez (1)

The power of the novel

The novel can tell what no other narrative can express, according to Colombian Juan Gabriel Vásquez.

Hissa Hilal (1)

Saudi-Arabian star poet to Bergen

Hissa Hilal from Saudi Arabia aroused both amazement and enthusiasm, as well as rage, when she read her poem Fatwa on live television for 75 million viewers.

Teresa Grøtan, festivalsjef

Opening towards the world

Breaching boundaries in the world of literature is the clear goal of the Bergen International Literary Festival (LitFestBergen), says director Teresa Grøtan.

Helon Habila

Join the reading circle

Enjoy reading literature from all over the world? Read up on the festival authors together with others who share your interest in literature.

Helon Habila

– The worst thing to happen in Nigeria since the Biafran war

In 2014, 276 girls were kidnapped by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria. Helon Habila (Nigeria) has written the book The Chibok Girls, after investigating what really happened.

Litteraturhuset fasade

Want to work as a volunteer?

You’ll gain new experience, free tickets and the chance to experience LitFestBergen from the inside.

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