McNorway: An Interview with John Erik Riley by Audun Mortensen

[The latest issue of McSweeney’s features a section on Norwegian writing, edited by John Erik Riley and Mikkel Bugge. One of the featured authors, Audun Mortensen, author of the newly released novel Roman, recently conducted an interview with Mr. Riley (whose own novel Heimdal, California is forthcoming soon) in which they discussed: “sly stallone, per petterson’s personal brand, mcsweeney’s, ‘norwegian lit scene’, celebrity chef breakdown.” – BB]

AM: we attended a ‘corporate literary party’ in oslo last week and got alcohol for free. could you outline some american equivalents, in terms of commercial success and literary style, to five of the most ‘prominent’ norwegian authors you spotted at this party?

JER: Hm. Erm. If by prominent you mean interesting and/or awesome, I spotted the following five writers:

Erlend Loe (= Douglas Coupland + Andy Warhol + Dave Eggers)
Roy Jacobsen (= Jonathan Franzen + Jack London + John Irving)
Anna Fiske (= Charles M. Schulz + Chris Ware + Dr. Seuss)
Stig Sæterbakken (= Edgar Allen Poe + Antony Hegarty + William T. Vollmann)
Audun Mortensen (= Stephen Malkmus + Facebook + Ramona Flowers)

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