Kristin Sørsdal: The Woman Who Brought Elena Ferrante To Norway

Kristin Sørsdal is a Norwegian novelist and translator who has made a significant contribution to the literary scene in Norway and beyond. She is the one who introduced and translated the works of Elena Ferrante, the mysterious and acclaimed Italian author, to the Norwegian readers. She has also written and published her own novels, which explore themes such as identity, memory, and trauma. In this blog post, we will explore the biography of Kristin Sørsdal, from her childhood and education to her career and achievements.

Early Life and Education

Kristin Sørsdal was born in 1966 in Tromøy, an island off the coast of Arendal, Norway. Her maternal grandfather, Park No-soo, was a renowned painter who is considered as one of the pioneers of modern Korean art. Kristin inherited her artistic talent and passion from her grandfather, and she developed an interest in literature and languages from a young age.

Kristin graduated from the University of Oslo with a master’s degree in Italian. She also studied at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California, where she learned various techniques of physical expression and performance. She also worked as a teacher of Norwegian for refugees and immigrants for many years.

Career and Achievements

Kristin began her career as a novelist in 2010, when she published her debut novel Makabre bikkjer (Macabre Dogs), which is a psychological thriller about a woman who is haunted by the death of her sister. She followed up with two more novels, Guds hund (God’s Dog) in 2013 and Mare in 2017, which are both set in Italy and deal with issues such as migration, violence, and religion.

Kristin is best known as the Norwegian translator of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, which are a series of four books that chronicle the lives and friendship of two women, Lila and Lenù, from their childhood in Naples to their adulthood in Italy and beyond. The novels have been praised for their realism, complexity, and feminism, and have been translated into more than 40 languages.

Kristin was also the one who introduced Ferrante to a Norwegian publishing house, her own Samlaget. She discovered Ferrante’s books while browsing in a bookstore in Rome, and she was immediately captivated by them. She contacted Ferrante’s Italian publisher, and obtained the rights to translate and publish the books in Norway. She then spent several years working on the translation, which she described as a challenging and rewarding process.

Kristin’s translation of Ferrante’s novels has been widely acclaimed, and has received several awards and honors. She won the Best New Translator award at the Norwegian Association of Literary Translators in 2015, the Målprisen (Language Prize) in 2016, the Storegut Award in 2017, and the Norwegian Critics’ Prize for translators in 2017. She has also been nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and the Nordic Council Literature Prize.

Kristin has also translated other works by Italian authors, such as Alessandro Baricco, Domenico Starnone, and Roberto Saviano. She has also written articles and essays for various newspapers and magazines, such as Dagbladet, Klassekampen, and Vinduet.

Personal Life and Relationships

Kristin is married to Lars Sørsdal, who is a journalist and a writer. They have two children, a son and a daughter, who are both in their twenties. They live in Oslo, Norway, but they also spend time in Italy, where they have a house in Umbria.

Kristin is a private and humble person, who does not seek fame or attention. She prefers to focus on her work and her family, and she does not have a social media presence. She is content with being herself, and she does not care about what others think or say about her.


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Kristin Sørsdal is a talented and dedicated novelist and translator who has been enriching the literary scene in Norway and beyond. She has written and published her own novels, which explore themes such as identity, memory, and trauma. She has also introduced and translated the works of Elena Ferrante, the mysterious and acclaimed Italian author, to the Norwegian readers. She has won several awards and accolades for her translation skills. She is also a supportive and caring wife, and a loving and devoted mother. She is a role model for many women who aspire to balance their personal and professional lives, and to pursue their dreams and passions. Kristin Sørsdal is a woman who deserves to be celebrated and appreciated for who she is and what she does.