Talks & Topics
Talks & debates

More Than Equal: Women Writers of the North

Part of London Literature Festival

Meet three acclaimed Nordic women writers challenging taboos and shining light on the lives of women in the region, both past and present.

Featuring Hanne Ørstavik (Norway), Liv Strömquist (Sweden) and Sofi Oksanen (Finland), this talk asks whether the statistics ranking Nordic countries as the most gender equal in the world are actually indicative of everyday life.

What can stories and literature from the region tell us about the obstacles which still need to be overcome? And is there backlash against progressive gender politics?

Speakers include:

- Finnish-Estonian novelist and playwright Sofi Oksanen is one of the leading lights of Nordic literature, her work having been translated into more than 50 languages, and receiving numerous awards, including the Nordic Council Literature Prize (2010), Europe Book Prize (2010), Prix Femina Ètranger (2010) and The Finlandia Award (2008). Celebrated for her immersive historical fiction which often explores the faultlines of Northern Europe’s past, including Purge and When the Doves Disappeared, Oksanen’s latest novel Norma, published in 2015, introduces yet another aspect of Oksanen’s visionary work, in a dark contemporary family drama with fantastical undertones. In both the past and the present, Oksanen’s fiction takes an unflinching look at injustices in the world, often with poignant and powerful focus on the challenges women face.

- Liv Strömquist burst onto the Swedish cultural scene with a series of satirical comics, and subsequently published her first book length work, The Feelings of Prince Charles. Strömquist quickly established a devoted following, and turned her hand to a variety of art forms, from theatrical productions to radio plays. Strömquist makes work that doesn’t shy away from controversy, and seeks to challenge taboos about female menstruation and institutional sexism in all its forms.

- Hanne Ørstavik is an award-winning Norwegian writer who has been translated into over 18 languages and celebrated for her fiction which explores questions of identity, sexuality and belonging. Her literary breakthrough in Norway came with the publication of Kjærlighet (Love), in 2006, which was voted the sixth best Norwegian book of the last 25 years in a prestigious contest in Dagbladet. Since then she has written several acclaimed novels and received a host of literary prizes. In June 2014, Periene Press published the first ever English translation of one of her novels, The Blue Room, as part of their coming-of-age series.

Part of Nordic Matters

Dates & times

21 Oct 2017
Approximate run time: 60 mins
  • 4:00 pm


Royal Festival Hall
Level 5 Function Room, Green side, Royal Festival Hall


Included in Pass

need to know

This event is included in both the World on the Brink Saturday Pass and the World on the Brink Weekend Pass.