Yesterday, Abdul Razzaq Qurna won the Nobel Prize in Literature, but it is almost impossible to find his books in Norwegian.
Several years have passed since it was seen on the shelves of Norwegian stores. At the Deichman Library in Oslo, more than 250 items are on the waiting list to borrow his most popular book.
At the same time, the publishing industry is affected by the shortage of paper.
“I can’t say when he was seen in the shops, but we’re talking about weeks, not months,” Nora Campbell tells Dagbladet.
She is the publishing director at Aschehoug and was surprised, like many others, by yesterday’s winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
– There may have been other African names that were mentioned a lot in the guesses, she says.
Empty Storage Shelves
Abdul Razzaq Qurna has not worked in a Norwegian printing press for many years. It’s been 19 years since his last book was published in Norwegian, and it can’t be found in Aschehoug’s inventory. At Deichman in Oslo, more than 250 people are on a waiting list to borrow his books.
– Campbell says the first thing we do is secure the rights to other books.
– Our ambition is to make the Norwegian books we previously published available again, such as “Paradise”, “Island of Silence” and “By the Sea”. We’re expecting to send these out to print early next week, she confirms.
A little read, but an impressive one
Pulitzer Prize-winning former novelist Leila Lalami published one yesterday tweet She noted that few books had been sold by the former Nobel Prize winner in the United States.
Nora Campbell believes that the degree of influence of Girna is not easy to measure, and points out that the British-Indian author Harry Konzru mean Jarna is a regular participant in the London literary community, including as a former member of the Booker Prize jury.
He writes about a current topic, about postcolonial experiences and exclusion. It’s not unreasonable, Campbell says, that this was one of the reasons he won.
– She adds that winning a Nobel Prize does not guarantee it will become a Christmas bestseller, but I am confident that this will lead to a great deal of interest in authorship.
In recent weeks, the publishing industry has suffered from a shortage of paper as a result of the outbreak of the Corona pandemic.
According to Campbell, Aschehoug has noticed delays in delivery dates in recent weeks. She says the publisher has been reassured that the situation will improve soon.
– It’s an exciting factor now, but there is no crisis. Maybe Garna sneaks into the queue at the printing press, says Nora Campbell.
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