“When reality becomes powerful, just describe reality“ | Writer Tomas Espedal | Louisiana Channel

“I didn’t have to invent it. It actually happened”. Tomas Espedal, one of Norway’s most acclaimed writers today, travelled on a train through Europe, in what was “a very dark period of his life”, when he was confronted by the flood of refugees seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

Espedal describes the train as being flooded by people, but suddenly he was unintentionally part of a community and instinctively started to help. “Fear of foreigners requires distance…but when you sit next to foreigners in need of help you’ll do everything”. This episode made its way into the novel, “Loves”, and as Espedal puts it “As an author, you have to be completely open, you must be able to meet everybody. Otherwise, you shouldn’t be a writer”.

Tomas Espedal (b. 1961) has written numerous novels, most recently “Loves” 2018. His works explore the relationship between the novel and other genres such as essays, letters, diaries, autobiographies, and travelogues. Three times has his work been nominated for the Nordic Council Prize, Scandinavia’s most prominent literature prize.

Tomas Espedal was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg in connection to the 2019 Louisiana Literature Festival, at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.

Camera: Klaus Elmer
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2021
Supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Fond

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