22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Maja Lunde

The Norwegian author and screenwriter Maja Lunde was born in 1975 in Oslo, where she also grew up. In 1996, she began studying literature and psychology at the University of Oslo and later specialized in the history of film. After her studies, Maja Lunde worked for various cultural festivals as well as for the Norwegian Film Museum while also writing her first scripts, especially those for children’s programs on Norwegian television. In 2009, she began working full-time as an independent screenwriter. In 2012, she published her first children’s book »Over grensen« (tr: Border Crossing), based on real events that occurred during World War II: the smuggling of Norwegian Jews into German concentration camps in the fall of 1942. Lunde tells the story of the successful flight of two children who, after the arrest of their parents, flee through the forest from Østfold to Sweden with the help of a cousin. Lunde’s next children’s book »Battle« (2014) is about a ballet dancer’s first love with a breakdancer. The author lends a special focus to the protagonists’ difficult living situations, which are just as authentically depicted as the world of ballet.

»Bienes historie« (2015; Eng. »The History of Bees«, 2017) is Lunde’s first novel for adult readers. It has been published in over thirty countries, was awarded the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize, and was the bestselling book in German translation in 2017. The novel’s subject is the impending climate catastrophe in the context of the death of bees. The plot is divided into three temporal threads: In 1852, an English biologist and seed merchant whose research has been a failure has an idea for a new type of beehive; in 2007, an Ohio beekeeper’s bees vanish without a trace; in 2098, bees have long been extinct in China, and a farm worker manually paints the trees with pollen. With the aid of these three fates, Lunde portrays the interconnectedness of human history with that of the bees, while telling a story of loss and hope and posing the question of what kind of world today’s generations are leaving to their children. The second part of Lunde’s planned »Climate Quartet« was published in 2017 under the title »Blå« (tr: »Blue«). This book is also about the future of humanity: In the year 2014, drought and forest fires dominate everyday life in southern Europe, a family of climate refugees is ripped apart, and father and daughter attempt to find mother and son. In the year 2017, a seventy-year-old Norwegian environmental activist returns to the western coast of her homeland in order to save the glaciers whose ice is meant to be harvested. Lunde links two temporal levels into a story motivated by the primary element of water and the real danger of it running dry for future generations.