We are delighted to welcome leading Norwegian writer Lars Mytting to open the festival’s fiction strand. Celebrated for publishing Norwegian Wood, one of the most unlikely non-fiction bestsellers of recent years, Lars Mytting is also the author of the immensely successful novel, The Sixteen Trees of the Somme.
That novel tells the story of Edvard, his taciturn grandfather Sverre, estranged great uncle Einar, the love of two women and the mystery surrounding the death of his parents when Edvard was a boy of four. On the day his grandfather dies, a beautifully hand-crafted coffin arrives at the undertakers and the mystery of his parents’ death resurfaces, demanding to be solved. The story takes Edvard and the reader on a journey to Shetland, then France, and back through the Second World War to Ravensbrück and further back still to a carefully planted wood of sixteen trees on the Somme before reaching its devastating ending.
His new book, the historical novel The Bell in the Lake, tells the story of a headstrong young woman in the 1880s, who dreams of a life beyond marriage, hard work and children, and finds herself torn between the new pastor and a talented architecture student from Dresden. Lars will talk about The Sixteen Trees of the Somme and introduce The Bell in the Lake.
Lars Mytting, a novelist and journalist, was born in Favang, Norway, in 1968. His novel The Sixteen Trees of the Somme was awarded the Norwegian National Booksellers’ Award and has been bought for film. Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way has become an international bestseller, and was the UK’s Bookseller Industry Awards Non-Fiction Book of the Year in 2016. The Bell in the Lake, the first of a trilogy, was a number one bestseller in Norway and nominated for the Norwegian National Bookseller’s Award 2018.