In literature we can be confronted with some rather unsettling things. With a Danish and a Dutch writer, Dorthe Nors and Robbert Welagen, we will talk about how discomfort plays a role in their own writing and literature as a place to explore the dirty, messy and ugly things in life.

Is a good literary work one that makes the reader and the writer feel ill at ease? Is there a line between uncomfortable and unacceptable? Or should literature show us all?

Dorthe Nors and Robbert Welagen tell us how they see the role of discomfort in writing and literature and if literature is a way for people and societies to deal with things that are rather kept in the shadows.

Dorthe Nors

Dorthe Nors is a Danish writer currently residing in Jutland, Denmark. In her books she often addresses issues such as loneliness and the feeling of being trapped. Her work received international praise. She was nominated in 2017 for the Man Booker International Prize for Mirror, Shoulder, Signal. Nors is currently writer-in-residence in Amsterdam at the invitation of the Dutch Foundation for Literature. Very soon the translation of her new collection of stories Map of Canada will be released.

Robbert Welagen

Dutch writer Robbert Welagen debuted in 2006 with Lipari, winner of the Selexyz Debuutprijs 2007. In 2008 he was awarded with the Charlotte Köhler Stipendium. Het verdwijnen van Robbert appeared on the shortlist for the Libris Literatuurprijs in 2014. Antoinette, his latest novel released in June 2019, addresses the topic of loss. Welagen is also a writer of essays and short stories which were published in e.g. De Groene Amsterdammer and HP/De Tijd.