Herbjørg Wassmo Interview: Advice to the Young



Herbjørg Wassmo, one of Norway’s best-selling authors, is unambiguous in her advice to aspiring writers when she emphasises that it quite simply takes hard work to achieve your goals: “Write, write, write!”

If you want to become someone, then it is up to you, and only you, to make that happen. Believe in yourself, work hard and never give up even if everything seems to be against you.

Literature helps Wassmo to change her mindset and break down her prejudices. She is very aware of having these prejudices and loves to be reminded of how ignorant she can sometimes be: “I appreciate the literature that stirs up my mental debris.”

Herbjørg Margretha Wassmo (b. 1942) is a Norwegian author. She worked as a teacher in northern Norway until she published her first work in 1976 – a collection of poems called ‘Beating of Wings’ (‘Vingeslag’). Wassmo’s major breakthrough was her first novel ‘The House with the Blind Glass Porch’ (‘Huset med den blinde glasveranda’) in 1981, which won her the prize Kritikerprisen. Other novels include ‘Hudløs himmel’ (1986), ‘Dina’s Book’ (‘Dinas bok’) (1989) – which was later made into a major film titled ‘I Am Dina’ in 2002 – ‘Det sjuende møte’ (2000), ‘Et glas melk takk’ (2006) and ‘Disse øyeblikke’ (2013). Wassmo is also the recipient of The Nordic Council’s Literature Prize (1987) for ‘Hudløs himmel’ and the Prix Jean Monnét in 1998.

Herbjørg Wassmo was interviewed by Anette Dina Sørensen at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in August 2014.

Camera: Klaus Elmer
Edited by: Sonja Strange
Produced by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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