Jostein Gaarder - author of the best sellers Sophies world and The Solitaire Mystery

Jostein Gaarder - author of the Sophies world and The Solitaire Mystery

Jostein Gaarder is the author of the best-sellers "Sophie’s world" and "The Solitaire Mystery". For "The solitaire mystery" he received the (Norwegian) Literary Critics’ Award in 1990. Since then Gaarder has been honored with several other awards.

Gaarder, born 1952, was for many years a teacher of philosophy in Bergen. He now lives in Oslo with his wife and two sons, and is a full time writer. In various ways his books take up subjects like philosophy and curiosity. The huge success of his books came as a surprise to the Norwegian author; he did not expected his young adult books focusing on philosophy to have the massive sales potential which they turned out to have.

Sophie’s World has been translated to more than 40 languages since it was first published in Norway in 1991. The novel is about the 14 year old Sophie who is introduced to philosophy through the somewhat mysterious character Albert Klage, later also referred to as her philosophy teacher. The book starts with the first Greek philosophers and ends with The Big Bang. The book differs from other philosophy books in several ways. First of all “Sophie’s World” is a novel. Secondly philosophers, great thinkers, ideas and theories from different times in history are introduced not only with plain facts. As Sophie encounters them (through Albert), she asks questions and draw conclusions on her own, encouraging the reader to think for him/herself too. Sophie’s World was in 1998 successfully turned into a musical. First performance was held in Germany where the book has sold millions of copies. In 1998 a “Sophie’s World” movie project started in Norway. The film is rumoured to be full of special effects, in addition to on location filming in several countries, among them Greece.

Gaarder has so far written 8 books, of which 4 have been translated to English. The latest addition to the translated titles is “Through the glass, darkly”.

Awards and prizes

  • In 1994, Sophie's World received the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.
  • In 1997, Gaarder was awarded the 1997 Buxtehude Bulle.
  • In 2004, he received the Willy-Brandt-Award in Oslo.
  • In 2005, Jostein Gaarder was awarded The Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav and later the same year he was awarded an Honorary degree at Trinity College, Dublin.

More info:

Dr Jostein Gaarder, Norwegian philosopher and Writer

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