Festival Square Spiegeltent
Every year we celebrate the gift of a Christmas Tree from Hordaland County Council, Bergen to the city of Edinburgh in memory of the close association arising during the 2nd World War. The celebration, which is part of the opening of the Winter Festival in Edinburgh, consists of a Scottish/Norwegian Advent concert in St. Giles Cathedral and switching on the Christmas Tree lights. The County Convener of Hordaland attends together with the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh.
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To celebrate the cities close ties and to profile the cultural links both for Norway and Scotland in general and Bergen and Edinburgh in particular we are thrilled that Gunnar Staalesen and Ian Rankin will meet for a literary discussion to talk about the many similarities in terms of their authorship, the characters they have created in Varg Veum and John Rebus and their close association with the cities in which they both live, Bergen and Edinburgh.
Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen in 1947. Staalesen has a Cand philol. degree from University of Bergen and he has worked at Den Nationale Scene, the main theatre in Bergen. He made his debut at the early age of twenty-two with Seasons of Innocence. In 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. They are immensely popular and have been published in 15 countries including France, UK, Germany, Italy, Russia and Poland. Varg Veum has also been made into several movies and several TV series. Gunnar Staalesen is twice recipient of Norway’s top crime prize, the Golden Pistol and has twice won the Riverton Prize for best Norwegian Crime Novel. He has also won Denmark’s Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, Sweden’s The Kaliber Prize and the Norwegian Riksmål Prize.
Ian Rankin was born in Fife in 1960 and graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are translated into twenty-two languages and bestsellers on several continents. Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Rankin won America’s celebrated Edgar Award for ‘Resurrection Men’. He has also been shortlisted for the Edgar and Anthony Awards in the USA, and won Denmark’s Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Rankin is furthermore the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews and Edinburgh. Rankin has presented his own TV series, ‘Ian Rankin’s Evil Thoughts’. He has an OBE for services to literature.
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