Per Petterson

Per Petterson
Per Petterson, winner of the 2009 Nordic Council Literature Prize
Per Petterson, winner of the 2009 Nordic Council Literature Prize
Born (1952-07-18) 18 July 1952 (age 71)
Oslo, Norway
OccupationAuthor, novelist

Per Petterson (born 18 July 1952 in Oslo) is a Norwegian novelist. His debut book was Aske i munnen, sand i skoa (1987), a collection of short stories. He has since published a number of novels to good reviews. To Siberia (1996), set in the Second World War, was published in English in 1998 and nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. I kjølvannet, translated as In the Wake (2002), is a young man's story of losing his family in the Scandinavian Star ferry disaster in 1990 (Petterson himself lost his mother, father, younger brother and a niece in the disaster); it won the Brage Prize for 2000. His 2008 novel Jeg forbanner tidens elv (I Curse the River of Time) won the Nordic Council Literature Prize for 2009, with an English translation published in 2010.

His breakthrough novel was Ut og stjæle hester (2003), which was awarded two top literary prizes in Norway – the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature and the Booksellers’ Best Book of the Year Award. The 2005 English language translation, Out Stealing Horses, was awarded the 2006 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the 2007 International Dublin Literary Award (the world's largest monetary literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English, €100,000). Out Stealing Horses was named one of the 10 best books of the year in the 9 December 2007 issue of the New York Times Book Review.[1]

Petterson is a librarian. He has worked as a bookstore clerk, translator and literary critic before becoming a full-time writer. He cites Knut Hamsun and Raymond Carver among his influences.[2]

Petterson's works have been translated into almost 50 languages.


  • 1987 – Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes (Aske i munnen, sand i skoa) - translated into English by Don Bartlett, 2013
  • 1989 – Echoland (Ekkoland) translated into English by Don Bartlett, 2016
  • 1992 – It's Fine By Me (Det er greit for meg) – translated into English by Don Bartlett, 2011
  • 1996 – To Siberia (Til Sibir) – translated into English by Anne Born
  • 2000 – In the Wake (I kjølvannet))
  • 2003 – Out Stealing Horses (Ut og stjæle hester )
  • 2004 – Månen over Porten
  • 2008 – I Curse the River of Time (Jeg forbanner tidens elv)
  • 2012 – I refuse. (First published with the title Jeg nekter in 2012 by Forlaget Oktober, Oslo. First published in English in 2014 by Harvill Secker, Random House, London; translated by Don Bartlett.)
  • 2015 – Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes, translated by Don Bartlett (first story collection re-issued April 7, 2015, by Graywolf Press.)
  • 2015 – I Refuse, translated by Don Bartlett (April 7, 2015 Graywolf Press, first printing in the United States.)
  • 2018 – Men in My Situation, translated by Ingvild Burkey. (First published in English by Harvill Secker/Penguin Random House UK in 2021; First published with the title Menn i min situasjon in Norway by Forlaget Oktober AS in 2018.)
  • 2021 – Mitt Abruzzo. Journal 21.1 – 18.7.2021. (Published in Norwegian by Forlaget Oktober in 2021; biography; 424 pages.)

Awards and Prizes[edit]


  1. ^ The 10 Best Books of 2007 New York Times Book Review
  2. ^ Richard Allen Greene Norwegian author reveals secrets Wednesday, 2 November 2005 BBC News [1]

External links[edit]