Norwegian Literature Meets the Chinese Market – In Person

Norwegian children’s literature is popular in China, and more and more titles are being translated. The China Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) in Shanghai in November provided the perfect opportunity for some of the most popular Norwegian authors to visit Shanghai and meet with their Chinese fans.


Anna Fiske is renowned for her playful illustrations and stories that have seized a broad audience. She has won a number of awards, and her books are very popular in Norway and a number of other countries. Her “Hello” book series has previously been published in Chinese. The reception has already been very positive; Anna’s books sold 50 000 copies during the first three months, and was named one of the 50 most beautiful books to have been published in China this year. Anna held several successful book sharing events during her stay in Shanghai; at the CCBF as well as at libraries and book stores around the city.

The Dunderly Universe is another book series that has become popular in China. This children’s universe about the Monsters in Dunderly is developed in Norway, and is a unique creation in Norwegian publishing history. The universe consists of books as well as pedagogic materiel, toys, games, CDs, films and other digital products. The book series was first published in Chinese by Tsinghua University Publishing House in 2013. The creators Endre Lund Eriksen and Endre Skandfer visited Shanghai in November, where they held several workshops and met with their Chinese fans. You can read more about the Monsters of Dunderly here.

Both the “Hello” books and the Dunderly books can be bought online or ordered at a bookstore near you.

The China Children’s Book Fair not only brought Norwegian authors to town, but also agents, literature promoters and others. The organization NORLA (Norwegian Literature Abroad), which works to promote the translation of Norwegian books, had its own stand at the CCBF where many visitors stopped by.

To welcome all these literature people to Shanghai and to introduce them to local contacts, Consul General Øyvind Stokke held a lunch reception in his home. Mr Stokke said he is very pleased to see Norwegian literature doing so well in China. He pointed out that one of the things that makes Norwegian and Nordic children’s literature stand out, is the fact that it (also) deals with difficult issues like grief and sorrow, and shows how we can deal with them. Mr Stokke also emphasized the importance – and pleasure – of reading books in a world which is becoming more and more digitalized.

Positive trend

We see more and more Norwegian titles – and especially children’s books – finding their way to China. 2015 was historical, where 18 Norwegian books were published in Chinese. 11 were children’s books. The trend has continued this year. In August, the two illustrated children’s books “Travel, how to adapt to new surroundings” and “Hunger, about sharing”, written by Veronica Salinas (NO) and illustrated by Camilla Engman (SE), were launched at the Shanghai Book Fair.

Want to know more? Click here for NORLA’s information sheet about Norwegian literature.

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