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Articles tagged "Norway"

My Favorite Bookstore: Karen Havelin on Tronsmo Bøker og Tegneserier

Tronsmo Bøker og Tegneserier, Kristian Augusts gate 19, 0164 Oslo, Norway There are times when I’m traveling, and feeling exhausted by the strangeness of a place, when the appearance of a bookstore with literature in a language I can read makes all the difference. An hour or two browsing the shelves is like running into an old friend on the street in a foreign city. As I grew up in Bergen, Oslo’s Tronsmo bøker og tegneserier, once called “the best...

The Dogs in Thessaloniki

We had our morning coffee in the garden. We scarcely said a word.  Beate got up and put the cups on a tray.  We might as well put the chairs up on the veranda, she said.  What for? I said.  It looks like rain, she said.  Rain? I said, there's not a cloud in the sky.  There's a nip in the air, she said, can’t you feel it?  No, I said. Maybe I’m wrong, she said.  She went up the veranda steps and into the living room. I remained...

Gob

I saw her again today. She came out from the liquor store in Majorstua, the bottles pushed down into a worn brown bag, and I sensed shame, shame is the only word I can use—shame. It was twenty years since I’d seen her last. Georg and I had been to the Frogner Baths. We’d taken the plunge from the tenth board for the first time and were a bit sore. But we were walking on air—by heck were we—we were world champs. Some girls from the same year at school had been standing by the...

Norwegian


Finnish


A Journey to Spitsbergen

I On the flight from Oslo to Tromsø, two worlds: the land far below me, the map on my lap. Outside, the sun is setting. The clouds hanging over the land on my map have been painted by Max Ernst, surreal, puffy sky formations, squadrons whizzing past us, fire within the gray, the land below already dark, less and less visible, a mere assumption. And mysterious as it may be, it cannot be chaos because roads have been drawn on the map, there are towns, harbors, names. The thin green...

MS Hitra

Captain Jonasen followed the dotted line in the atlas with his finger. What he would do after Buenos Aires he didn't know. As far as he was concerned life could end there. He closed the atlas with a bang and lit his pipe. It would soon be midnight and it was dark in the captain's cabin. He listened and waited. But no engines started up. All he could hear was the wind whistling through the air vent. And he didn't know exactly what he was in fact waiting for any more, either. He...

from “Trifero”

Kiss Me Little Lotte, as he liked to call her, was a robust Norwegian measuring five foot ten in stocking feet, six foot three in her skates. Her grandmother, as you'll have guessed already, was the great Helka Happensauer, six time world champion in the free skate, personal friend of Hitler, and brilliant though short-lived Hollywood princess, famous for her spectacular musicals on ice. Who doesn't remember "White Passion," "Skating to Rio," and "Helka's Favorite...

The Pig

Asbjørn Hall was admitted to an Oslo hospital on December 4th, 2003, for an intestinal operation, a rather unpleasant business no one would look forward to. But Asbjørn Hall was seventy-eight and had never been ill before, barring minor complaints such as colds, toothache, and the occasional hangover. For that reason he realized now this was no more than to be expected; that's not saying he saw this as some punishment for a long and godless life—no, Asbjørn...

from “Out Stealing Horses”

We were going out stealing horses. That was what he said, standing at the door to the cabin where I was spending the summer with my father. I was fifteen. It was 1948 and one of the first days of July. Three years earlier the Germans had left, but I can't remember that we talked about them any longer. At least my father did not. He never said anything about the war. Jon came often to our door, at all hours, wanting me to go out with him: shooting hares, walking through the forest in...

The Bergkvist Sisters

  I've had a lot of time lately, and I've been thinking about the King and Queen. They were Crown Prince and Princess then, of course, but what if they hadn't had a son second time around? Would they have just had to keep going? There's got to be a boy after all, hasn't there, a future king? Imagine the Crown Princess after giving birth eight times, after the eighth girl she'd have looked totally exhausted. That's how things were for Ellen anyway....

Today You Must Pray to God

One morning the teacher came in for the first class, sat down heavily on the chair behind his desk, looked around the room, and said: "Today you must pray to God, for today a nuclear war will probably break out." He cleared his throat, drew a breath, and said: "Nuclear war" once more, his double chin wobbled, and silence fell on the room. Nuclear war. Arvid had heard them talking about that at home so he knew what it meant. It meant curtains for everyone, in earnest. Uncle Rolf...

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