Lars Saabye Christensen

Lars Saabye Christensen was born in Oslo, Norway in 1953. He has been a poet and author of books for young adults, detective stories, short stories, novels and screenplays since the 70’s. It was his enthusiasm for rock music which made him take up writing. Inspired by his idols John Lennon and Jim Morrison, he wrote song lyrics and poetry. His first poetry collection ‘Historien om Gly'(t: Gly’s Story), for which he won the Tarjei Vesaas Debutantpris award for young authors, was published in 1976. His first novel ‘Amatøren'(t: The Amateur) followed in 1977. With this work he created the prototype for all his characters, who are typified by a lack of overview over their own lives.

His literary breakthrough came with ‘Beatles'(1984), a novel about four young people in an Oslo suburb, which immediately became a bestseller. Lars Saabye Christensen is now one of Norway’s best-known contemporary writers; his books have been translated into over 20 languages. His work inspires enthusiasm not only among his readers; it has also been awarded numerous prizes, including Norway’s critics’ prize. He won the renowned Nordic literary prize ‘Nordisk Räds Litteratur Pris’ in 2002 for ‘Halvbroren'(2001; ‘The Half Brother’ 2003).

Lars Saabye Christensen’s stories are artfully constructed and characterised by a both melancholy and humorous tone in their realistic narrative style. ‘Jubel'(1995) oscillates between Nordic laconicism, comedy and tragedy. It is the story of a musician who has not achieved the glittering career of a concert pianist he had hoped for, but whose destiny has instead brought him to a shabby hotel on the Lofoten Islands to work as a piano player. Full of understanding for his absurd characters, Saabye Christensen also tells of losses and farewells, of biographies without climaxes, and of the realisation of one’s own mediocrity in the short stories ‘Den misunnelige frisøren'(1997; t: The Jealous Hairdresser).

He has also gained recognition for his television-screenplay adaptations of Knut Hamsun’s ‘August’ trilogy, as a promoter of young Norwegian authors, and through musical readings with the band ‘Norsk Utflukt’ Lars Saabye Christensen lives in Oslo.

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