Iperborea was founded by Emilia Lodigiani in Milan in 1987, with the aim of spreading the knowledge of Northern European literature in Italy.
Being the first publishing house in Italy to explore this area, we had the chance to do it with a great freedom of choice and within a high-quality production, which spans from the best contemporary authors to classics, from Nobel Prize winners, either unpublished or newly translated, to the most talented voices of the new literary trends and movements.
In addition to the literature of Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, including the ancient medieval sagas) Iperborea publishes authors from the Netherlands, Estonia, Finland and, since 1998, run an series of essays offering readers new stimulating ideas. In 2010 Iperborea launched a literary crime series, called Ombre (Shadows).
Iperborea’s best-selling authors are Arto Paasilinna, with about 120,000 copies sold of “L’anno della lepre” (The Year of the Hare) and Björn Larsson, with over 100,000 copies sold of “La vera storia del pirata Long John Silver” (Long John Silver).
- Besides them, we publish some of the most significant writers of the Northern European literary tradition, such as the Swedish authors (in random order) Elisabeth Åsbrink, Majgull Axelsson, Ingmar Bergman, Karin Boye, Stig Claesson, Stig Dagerman, Sven Delblanc, Per Olov Enquist, Folke Fridell, Peter Fröberg Idling, Maria Gripe, Lars Gustafsson, Ulf Peter Hallberg, Ulla Isaksson, Eyvind Johnson, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Pär Lagerkvist, Selma Lagerlöf, Björn Larsson, Astrid Lindgren, Torgny Lindgren, Mikael Niemi, Peter Nilson, Fredrik Sjöberg, Hjalmar Söderberg, Ulf Stark, August Strindberg, Katarina Taikon, Gellert Tamas, Tomas Tranströmer, Göran Tunström, Carl-Henning Wijkmark
- the Danish Hans Christian Andersen, Herman Bang, Karen Blixen, Anders Bodelsen, Morten Brask, Stig Dalager, Thorkild Hansen, Olav Hergel, Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen, J. Peter Jacobsen, Flemming Jensen, Ole Lund Kirkegaard, Svend Åge Madsen, Kaj Munk, Jørn Riel, Peter Seeberg, Henrik Stangerup, Janne Teller, Dan Turèll, Ole Wivel
- the Norwegian Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Johan Borgen, Finn Carling, Thomas Enger, Bergljot Hobaek Haff, Knut Hamsun, Johan Harstad, Levi Henriksen, Henrik Ibsen, Monica Kristensen, Erlend Loe, Tove Nilsen, Lou Andreas Salomé, Aksel Sandemose, Dag Solstad, Gunnar Staalesen, Morten A. Strøksnes, Sigrid Undset, Tarjei Vesaas, Herbjørg Wassmo
- the Icelandic Einar Már Gudmundsson, Gunnar Gunnarsson, Hrafnhildur Hagalín, Jón R. Hjálmarssonn, Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson, Halldór Laxness, Jón Kalman Stefánsson, Thor Vilhjálmsson
- the Estonian Meelis Friedenthal, Jaan Kross, Emil Tode
- the Finnish Bo Carpelan, Kari Hotakainen, Tove Jansson, Aki Kaurismäki, Tuomas Kyrö, Leena Lander, Rosa Liksom, Miika Nousiainen, Arto Paasilinna, Matti Rönkä, Mika Waltari, Kjell Westö
- the Dutch Kader Abdolah, Gerbrand Bakker, Jan Brokken, Gerhard Durlacher, Stephan Enter, Anne-Gine Goemans, Hella Haasse, Multatuli, Nescio, Cees Nooteboom, Willem Jan Otten, Connie Palmen, Gerard Reve, Allard Schröder, Jan Jacob Slauerhoff, Adriaan Van Dis, Frank Westerman, Tommy Wieringa
- the Belgian Eric De Kuyper, Willem Elsschot, Peter Terrin
Among the several prizes won by Iperborea’s authors in Italy, the following are worthy to be mentioned:
- Kader Abdolah: Premio Grinzane Cavour in 2009;
- Lars Gustafsson: Premio Agrigento in 1991, Premio Grinzane Cavour in 1996, Premio Boccaccio 2012;
- Björn Larsson: Premio Boccaccio Europa in 2000, Premio Elsa Morante in 2000, Premio Grinzane Biamonte in 2008, Premio Sanremo “Libro del mare” in 2008 and Premio Corsaro Nero in 2008, Premio Selezione Bancarella 2012;
- Cees Nooteboom: Premio Grinzane Cavour in 1994, European Poems Prize in 2008, Premio Bruce Chatwin in 2010;
- Arto Paasilinna: Premio Acerbi in 1994, Premio Speciale from the Panel of Premio Città di Gaeta “Letteratura di Viaggio e Avventura” in 2008;
- Per Olov Enquist: Premio SuperFlaiano in 2002, Premio Mondello in 2002, Premio Scrivere per Amore in 2007, Premio Napoli in 2007;
- Einar Már Gudmundsson: Premio Acerbi in 1999.
- Jón Kalman Stefánsson: Premio Bottari Lattes Grinzane 2012, Premio Von Rezzori 2012.
Iperborea itself has won many prizes:
- the Academy of Sweden Prize in 1993, for its role in the promotion of the Swedish culture abroad;
- the Italian Prize for Translation in 1994, awarded by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage to the publisher who produced the highest-quality translations;
- the Cultural Prize of the Presidency’s Cabinet in 2000;
- the European Publisher Prize, awarded by the Municipality of Rome in 2004 ;
- the Premio Axel Munthe in 2008, for the unremitting commitment to the circulation of Northern European Literature;
- also in 2008, Iperborea was selected as one of the “one hundred cases of excellence in Italy” by the Eurispes Institute;
- the same year Iperborea was awarded the Swedish Promoter of the Year Prize;
- Premio Lo Straniero in 2009, with the following motivation: “Since the 1980s, the Milanese publishing house Iperborea, founded and run by Emilia Lodigiani, advances and popularises northern European culture in Italy, translating its literature’s most relevant works, including the early sagas alongside Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries classics, and following new authors with selective care and expertise. There is much talk of Europe, but only a handful of Italian enterprises can claim to promote awareness of other cultures from the continent: Iperborea is among the friendliest and most rigorous ones, and gave us the chance to approach the work of very important authors whom perhaps we wouldn’t have known otherwise”.
- Also in 2009, Iperborea was awarded the Manuzio Prize because its books, in the Italian market, represent “one of the most significant and qualified efforts, in terms of relevance and clarity of vision”.
The founder of Iperborea, Emilia Lodigiani, was bestowed in 1996 the title of Knight of the Order of the Polar Star, the highest recognition conferred to a foreigner in Sweden, by King Karl Gustav and the Swedish Parliament; in 2009 followed the Knighthood in the Order of White Rose of Finland for the commitment to circulation of Finnish Culture and Literature; and in 2011 she received the Knighthood in the Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau from the ambassador of the Netherlands in Italy.
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Via Palestro, 20 - 20121 Milano
Founder: Emilia Lodigiani
Publisher: Pietro Biancardi
Publishing Director: Cristina Gerosa
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