Literary train is ready for the Crown Princess

Literary Train, Mette MaritCrown Princess Mette-Marit arrives Hønefoss Library Friday morning in connection with the Literature Day 2016. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Royal literary train is waiting at the platform for the Crown Princess

The final details are fine-tuned before Crown Princess Mette-Marit embarks on this year’s literary train journey. Wednesday it heads off from Asker to Kristiansand.


For two days, the Crown Princess will help increase reading awareness through conversations with authors and visits to local libraries.

The tour goes on well-known tracks for the Crown Princess – from the homestead in Asker to her birth town of Kristiansand. The theme for this year’s literary train journey is therefore ‘home’. It is the fourth time the Crown Princess embarks on a literary train journey.

This time she can also adorn herself with the title Ambassador of Literature. In April she was appointed ambassador for Norwegian literature abroad by the Center for Norwegian Discourse and Literature Abroad (NORLA)

Public meetings and talks with authors

This year, as per usual, both train and stops are filled with writers who will share their reading and writing experiences with people along the tracks.

Before departure, there will be a public meeting at Asker Library, where author Alfred Fidjestøl will talk about the so-called Asker circle, among which Hulda and Arne Garborg were central.

The authors created a home in Asker when Norwegian nation-building was at its most intense.

En route there are book stops in Bø in Telemark, Gjerstad, Tvedestrand and Vennesla.

In Bø, in Telemark, the author Maja Linde participates. Linde is the author behind the great success ‘Bienes history’ (The history of Bee’s). The train then continues towards Gjerstad, where Mette-Marit will meet the authors Mirjam Kristensen and Gunstein Bakke on Thursday morning.

Psalm Song and feminism

Then the entourage moves on to Tvedestrand and a literary walk in the Book City (Bokbyen) at Skagerrak before the evening event and meeting with the famous psalm writer, Svein Ellingsen, in the Dypvåg church.

Friday morning, Vennesla is the venue, where Her Majesty, The Crown Princess, will meet the author and feminist Wencke Mühleisen and author Marie Aubert.

Literature train ends in Kristiansand June 9, specifically at Kristiansand Cathedral School Gimle. Where should the Crown Princess meet authors Gaute Heivoll and Bjarte Breiteig – both of which attended her own high school in Kristiansand.


Mette-Marit’s literature campaign is very popular, but has also met resistance. Last year, author Birger Emanuelsen criticized the initiative openly.

– I can not see what the Crown Princess is going to add to Norwegian literature. However, I see very well what Norwegian literature and Norwegian writers are going to provide her. A much needed image, Emanuelsen writes on his Facebook page.

After the first Literature train in 2014 it took a long time before the Crown Princess opened a book once more.

– I got a blow, she admits.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today