Klaus Hagerup

Portrait Klaus Hagerup
© Hartwig Klappert

Klaus Hagerup was born in Oslo, Norway in 1946 and grew up in a family of authors. He decided to become an actor and partly funded his education with his poetry collection, “Silk tenker jeg på dere”, with which he made his debut in 1969. In the following years he worked as an actor, director, playwright and translator. In the eighties, writing increasingly took on a larger and larger role in his pr ofessional life. Today, Hagerup is considered one of the most important authors in Norway; he writes novels, theatre plays and radio plays, most of which target young adults. In a sensitive and humorous way, he writes about early puberty, finding oneself, friendship and the turbulent complexities of being in love for the first time. He does not write about the big leap into the well-defined world of adults, but about the many small, quaint and dis pr oportionately more important developments. In doing so, he contrives to expose his pr otagonists to hysterically funny dialogues and hilarious scenes.

In his novel for young adults “Høyere en himmelen” (1990),  the author tells the tale of twelve year-old Mari, who does not like herself very much and finds just about everything quite daft, until she meets the wacky yet im pr essive teacher Miss Kjoer. The novel was awarded Sonja Hagemanns barnebok pr is (1990) and the IBBY Certificate of Honour for Writing. Hagerup became hugely popular with the publication, in 1993, of the children’s mystery “Bibbi Bokkens magiske bibliotek”, which he co-wrote with Jostein Gaarder, the author of “Sophie’s World”. His international breakthrough came in 1994 with the publication of “Markus og Diana og lyset fra Sirius”, the first book of four about the antihero, Markus Simonsen, who is afraid of everything, but most of all of girls. His last book about Markus, “Markus og Sigmund” will be published in Norway in autumn 2003. In an affectionate, charming and yet always respectfully distant manner, Hagerup depicts the daily fears of a completely normal teenager and his first steps into the wide world of love, which are sometimes delightful and sometimes painful, but always instructive. Der neueste  »Markus«-Band, »Markus og Karaokekongen« (2004), erschien unter dem Titel »Markus und der Karaoke-König« in deutscher Übersetzung (2007). Zusammen mit seiner jüngsten Tochter Hanne veröffentlichte der Autor das Kinderbuch »Skummelt« (2005; dt. »Zirkus Tornado«, 2007).

Klaus Hagerup’s versatile work has been widely translated and has received numerous awards, while two of his books for young adults have been filmed. In recent years, he has pr oduced just as highly acclaimed books for adults, including “Herremannen” (2000). His current work, “Kaninen synger i mørket” (2001), which will be published in the German translation in 2004, pr oves that he has also remained faithful to his younger readers. In his version of the “Alice in Wonderland” motif, Else goes on a fantastical journey, where she meets rabbits in shorts and other curious creatures. The book “Skummelt”(2005, Engl: Circus Tornado, or how Ingebrigt should unlearn fear), which Hagerup wrote together with his youngest daughter, Hanne, is his most recent publication. Klaus Hagerup lives in Gressvik, Norway.

© international literature festival berlin