Ingvar Ambjørnsen

The Bird Dance

An intelligent, sad but at the same time funny book.

In The Bird Dance Elling wakes up in a psychiatric institution in the same room as Kjell Bjarne. Two weird people slowly approaching each other, and a frail friendship evolve. In this book we also get the story of how Elling and his mother made a desperate attempt of having a normal vacation in the Spanish town Benidorm.

Ingvar Ambjørnsen received the Brage Prize of 1995 for this novel.

“Books rarely make me laugh, almost never, in fact – but I make an exception for Ambjørnsen because with him, there’s nothing for it but to give in. But now and then I feel like crying, because this is so sad too.


“A story that swings – from the deepest abyss to the most unbridled slapstick – and at the same time the composition is taut… a magnificent novel.”


“… a lavishly funny, tragicomic novel…”

Tønsberg Blad

“… impressive portrayal of an uncommon mind.”

Bergens Tidende

Ambjørnsen’s cuckoo’s nest
“… an intelligent book that is at once sad and funny…”


Ingvar Ambjørnsen

Originalrgb portrett   kvadratisk ingvar ambjørnsen
Photo Credit: Marie Sjøvold

Ingvar Ambjørnsen (b. 1956) is considered to be one of the great storytellers of contemporary Norwegian literature. Since his literary début in 1981, Ambjørnsen has written twenty four novels and three collections of short stories, as well as essay collections and several books for children and youth. He has won a number of awards, including the Riverton Prize, the Brage Award, the Booksellers’ Award and the Riksmål Prize. His works are sold to a great number of countries. Many of them have been adapted into films with great success. The movie Elling, based on Ambjørnsen’s novels ‘The Bird Dance’ and ‘Blood Brothers’, was nominated to an Oscar in 2001, and Elling the theatre play has appeared on stage in several theatres around Europe to great acclaim

Foreign rights

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Edited October 30, 2020 by Cappelen Damm Agency