Bókmenntahátíð í Reykjavík I The Reykjavík International Literary Festival

PUBLISHERS’ FELLOWSHIP – MIA BULL-GUNDERSEN (NORWAY)

mia-bull-gundersen• Tell us a little bit about your company and your work there!

I work at Aschehoug Publisher, which is one of the largest and oldest publishing houses in Norway. It was established in 1872, and is a family-owned company, owned by the Nygaard-family. We are stationed in the heart of Oslo.

We publish approximately 200 titles per year; that is Norwegian and translated fiction, Norwegian and translated non-fiction and Norwegian and translated books for children. We are the publisher of Norwegian authors like Jo Nesbø, Merethe Lindstrøm, Jan Kjærstad, Carl Frode Tiller  and Jostein Gaarder. We are also have a big department for school books, and Aschehoug has several imprints, among them Universitetsforlaget and Oktober Publisher.

I work as an editor for Norwegian fiction (also crime novels) and poetry. I have been in Aschehoug since 1993: I started as Rights Manager and I was Jostein Gaarder’s agent for 6 years when his novel SOPHIE’S WORLD was travelling all around the world. (It still is, actually.) I am the editor of authors like Jan Kjærstad, Unni Lindell, Thure Erik Lund, Gabi Gleichmann, Karsten Alnæs, Jostein Gaarder, Erling Kittelsen, Kurt Aust and many more.

• Have you been to Iceland before? What do you expect from your visit this year to the Literary Festival?

I have never been to Iceland before. I look forward to get a chance to visit the country, see all the beautiful spots and to do so in company of colleagues from other countries and with our Islandic hosts as inspiring guides! And it will be fantastic to have a chance to meet Icelandic and other foreign authors and to take part in the great program of the festival.

• How do you see the situation of translated literature in your country?

The situation for translated literature in Norway is quite hard, as I guess it is in many countries, because we are a small market and the translation costs are high and the prints are low. But we consider translated literature as a very important part of our list and we publish approximately 30 translated novels per year. We publish authors like Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, Pierre Lemaitre, Sara Stridsberg, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood. We will also publish the “new” novel by Harper Lee in August.

*Haldin dagana 6.-9. september 2017

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