About us



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a high-quality production, which spans from the best contemporary authors to classics, from Nobel Prize winners, either unpublished or newly translated, to the most talented voices of the new literary trends and movements.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).





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.





Click here to download Iperborea's Catalog.





Iperborea Via Palestro, 20 - 20121 Milano
Tel +39.02.87398098

Founder: Emilia Lodigiani
Publisher: Pietro Biancardi
Publishing Director: Cristina Gerosa
Copy Editor: Cristina Marasti
Web Manager & Production: Anna Basile
Press Office: Francesca Gerosa
Sales, Courses, Events: Anna Oppes
Administration: Paola Terzoli


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The year 2012 marks our 25th anniversary. We asked our authors to write a few words to celebrate it with us. This is what they sent. To say we are flattered and proud is an understatement. Thank you.



Dear Emilia and all in Iperborea,
I am very pleased and happy of everything that have happened to me in Italy. Thank you so much and I wish prosperous future for each and everyone of you.
Foreign rights of my books have now been sold around the world and atmosphere there in Italy are always unique and warm.
I hope we can work together later in the future also.
With warmest regards,

Arto Paasilinna


Förlaget är en kvinnas verk, och vilken kvinna! Jag tillhör en av de första som blev intagen i henne och i förlaget, det är tjugofem år sedan, då trodde jag nog att förlaget snart skulle dö ( fast den lilla boken blev ju vacker). Och att den märkliga lilla kvinnan som startade det snart skulle svepas undan av bokbranchens tsunami. Jag förstod kanske inte heller hennes fascination av nordeuropeisk – särskilt skandinavisk – litteratur. Hyperboreerna var dock ett mytiskt folk som bodde norr om nordanvinden, enligt grekerna, själv var jag född ettusen kilometer norr om Stockholm, Emilia måste ha tänkt på mig när hon startade sitt förlag, och namngav det. Man måste därför kapitulera.
Det gjorde allt fler. Böcker hämtade norr om, eller mitt i, nordanvinden: hennes utgivning av nordisk litteratur de sista tjugofem åren är enastående. Och allt är denna lilla kvinnas lika enstående verk.
Jag bugar mig, där uppifrån nordanvinden.

Per Olov Enquist


Iperborea is the reason I love Italy. Iperborea must be the coolest, small publishing house in Europe. Their professionalism, their experience, their eye and respect for great literature and their great love for their writers are truly inspirational. I'm proud to say that I consider them a part of my family, both my literary family and my personal one. I congratulate them with the first 25 years, looking forward to the 25 next.

Johan Harstad


Essere pubblicati da Iperborea significa avere ottime probabilità che ai propri libri venga concessa una lunga vita invece di un’esistenza effimera. Per il momento l’Italia è l’unico paese in Europa in cui si possono comprare e leggere tutti i miei libri; per me è come sentire che non solo i miei romanzi, ma io stesso sono vivo.

Björn Larsson


I am a fantastic person. Intelligent, funny, charming and a gift to others. I am probably one of the best writers in Europe, and everybody should read my books. Actually the world would not be so great without me. None of this is true. But that’s how I felt, when me and my books were invited inside Iperborea by the classy, modest and idealistic founder Emilia Lodigiani and her enthusiastic brilliant young employees. It was great. It is great. I will be great.
Congratulations, but most of all: Thank You.

Olav Hergel


IL RAGGIO DI LUCE

C’era una volta un poeta la cui vena era perennemente illuminata dal raggio dell’ispirazione divina. Un poeta mediocre, in base agli standard nazionali, tuttavia molti lo consideravano un vero importante poeta.
Era conosciuto e amato o conosciuto e odiato, come lo sono i veri poeti. Era felice nella sua vocazione.
Poi arrivò un giorno in cui il raggio dall’alto si spense. Lui guardò interdetto il cielo, ma poté soltanto constatare che quella luce forte e benedetta era sparita. Non c’erano né il raggio sottile che come una fiamma ossidrica penetrava nel cocuzzolo dell’isola calva formata dal tempo, né l’ampio raggio onniavvolgente che in genere illuminava tutta la sua anima.
I buoni consigli erano preziosi, perché si trovava a metà di un importante romanzo che l’umanità aspettava con grande trepidazione, per amarlo o per esporlo all’odio e allo scherno com’era stato per altri romanzi, finché non arrivavano alla svendita annuale e finivano nell’oblio.
Il poeta era spaventato. Ma non per questo si mise a correre in tondo come una gallina impazzita che ha sentito odore di volpe. Guardava pieno di dolore le parole e le belle frasi che uscivano svolazzando dalla testa e si innalzavano prive di senso a gran velocità nel nulla.
Attese con l’infinita pazienza che hanno i veri poeti. Giorno dopo giorno rimase seduto nella sua soffitta con la candela accesa, quattro matite ben temperate e un blocco per gli appunti sulla scrivania. Aspettò che la luce dell’ispirazione tornasse a risplendere. Dimagrì perché non mangiava e si rinsecchì perché non beveva. Divenne apatico e indolente e quando sporadiche volte parlava, le sue parole venivano interpretate da lettori entusiasti come haiku rari.
Finché un giorno il raggio di luce tornò. Riempì di maestosità la piccola soffitta e lui fissò rapito la magnifica luce. Vide allora come le numerose parole e le frasi che avevano turbinato caotiche nella sua mente, poesia, prosa e teatro acquistavano un senso che non avevano mai avuto.
Poco dopo il ritorno del raggio fu dichiarato dunque da tutti un vero eccellente poeta. Di questo però non sappiamo se lui fu consapevole, perché era già diventato tutt’uno con il raggio dell’ispirazione e da tempo era già stato risucchiato nel cosmo.

Magnificent Iperborea, May you have another successful 25 years!

Jørn Riel (Traduzione di Ingrid Basso)


"Emilia Lodigiani's Iperborea is all the radiance and glow, dreamt of by the freezing Nordic darkness."
Or said in another way:
"There is no freezing Nordic darkness, that the radiance and glow of Iperborea and Emilia Lodigiani can't enlighten!"

  Janne Teller


I am very satisfied that Iperborea is my Italian publisher. All the people I have met there are serious and hard working and really care about the books they publish. I wish you all a happy 25th anniversary and several marvellous decades to come. When I grow up I will try to write a fabulous international bestseller that will make you all rich and happy.

Erlend Loe


ULTIMA THULE

Iperborea was a mythic country far north in the world, up against the eternal ice of the North Pole. In the early historic maps this was perhaps the same region as the one called Ultima Thule, to day known as Scandinavia.

Writers from this region have found a warm and hospitable harbour in Italy, in the form of the friendly and resourceful editors at Iperborea. You can say that the Iperboreans, the people from Ultima Thule, have come home to this house of editors, using the name of the part of the world from which they originate. Lucky Iperboreans!

I wish and hope that the myths of the modern North will live long and successfully at the publishing house of Iperborea. On behalf of myself and my Iperborean hero, Varg Veum, I wish you all a happy 25 years anniversary – and may you live long, Iperborea of the South!

Gunnar Staalesen


"This poem is dedicated to Iperborea, my wonderful Italian publisher, as a small thank you for what the house has done through many decades to turn my thoughts into beautiful and much read Italian book."

VÄSTVINDEN GÅR

Västvinden går.
Västvinden
in genom öppna fönstret
bläddrar i uppslagen bok.
Som alltså läser sig själv.
Fernissan på åran
torkar snabbare nu
och minst en fluga
blir alltid kvar
i den hårdnande, klara massan.
Liksom en fråga
utifrån den kristallklara tomma och nattliga rymden.
Och boken läser sig själv
inte utan eftertanke.

Lars Gustafsson


Tänk att sådana mirakler som Emilia Lodigiani, Iperborea och Zlatan Ibrahimovic kan rymmas i samma stad! Det fyller mig med stolthet och glädje att – om blott perifert – ha funnit anknytning till denna treenighet!

Torgny Lindgren


Italian
Passion,
Enthusiastic
Readers,
Books
Of
Refreshing
Endless
Adventures

Mikael Niemi


Someone said the writer hands in the ammunition and the publisher fires it off. I much prefer Iperborea’s standards, where I was taken to a magic castle, treated with respect and love, hence forced to give my best from a universal point of view.
Iperborea is Renaissance at its best; art and life in splendid formation, the real update now.
Happy Birthday!

Ulf Peter Hallberg


In business they are estimating your succes by every quarters of a year... in publishing 25 years is an appropriate era to show your talent. And that´s something You have done!
Onnea ja menestystä tuleville vuosille!
(the finnish part congratulates you...)
Best wishes,

Matti Rönkä


Iperborea – the Italian masters of publishing. Professional, reliable, energetic and ever the masters of hospitality and genuine kindness. Iperborea – simply the best.

Thomas Enger


I had my first play produced when I was 25 - later to be published by the wonderful Italian publishing house Iperborea.
And now Iperborea is 25! Birthday greetings from remote Iceland and warm wishes to Emilia and all her amazing staff.
I´m honoured to be on your list.

Hrafnhildur Hagalín


CHIAMATA ALLE ARMI DAL NORD

Þú sem býrð með eyju í hjartanu
og víðáttur geimsins
stétt undir iljunum:

Réttu mér norðurljósin!
Ég ætla að dansa við unglinginn
sem heldur á stjörnunum.

Við roðflettum myrkrið
og afhausum eymdina.

I like to send my best wishes and birthday greetings to the wonderful publishing house Iperborea. As an expression for my gratitude and thankfulness I send you a poem in which the northern lights greets you and the cosmic streams of the universe, our clear view of existence, are to be found, maybe hidden... May you stay forever young!

Einar Már Gudmundsson


Questa poesia, che ho scritto a Reykjavík un cupo mattino d’inverno di ventiquattro anni fa, spossato dalla brama di qualcosa, forse di felicità, forse solo di un contatto, è il mio regalo a Iperborea per il suo 25esimo compleanno. Perché in che modo si può ringraziare Iperborea e tutti i suoi collaboratori per la bella letteratura che pubblicano con tanta passione, se non con una poesia?

STORIA DEL GENERE UMANO

A te
non ho mai osato telefonare
e dire
che
forse c’è qualcosa di vero
in quella storia dell’oro degli occhi

ma appunto per questo
volevo far notare
che l’oro ha lasciato molti
senza parole.

Jón Kalman Stefánsson (Traduzione di Silvia Cosimini)


Iperborea is for me home.
They are beautiful people.
When I meet them I have the feeling that I meet my family.
And when I am writing a new book, I think also to them.
My publisher, Emilia is the chicest woman of the world of publishers.
I am Kader Abdolah, and I tell you the true.

Kader Abdolah


Iperborea is a tone poem of Sibelius, performed in the Scala and conducted by a female aristocrat who asks the musicians: "More empathy please, more emotion, more insanity, but in an elegant way, per favore."

Jan Brokken


Twenty-five years of Wind from the North, but when  in the North I think of Iperborea, I feel wonderfully warm.
Dear Emilia, I want to congratulate you, because I admire the dedicated, determined, and delightfully stubborn way you have all this time been pursuing your goals, which have never changed: to bring hidden treasures of the faraway North to your southern shores. Thanks to you and your collaborators seven countries which used to be very far away have come much closer thanks to an ever greater and more varied series of wonderfully executed books, each and every one of them a gem and a future collector's item, and a splendid symbol of light in an ever more commercialised publishing world. Books are made of paper, but you have created a paper monument that will have the endurance of stone and steel, a nordic cathedral in the spiritual landscape of the South.

Cees Nooteboom


As a Dutch author from a forgotten province in the north of our country, I'd never expected to become a member of an extended Italian family in mondaine Milano. But since Emilia Lodigiani has taken my books under her wings, it feels that way. Contrary to what her physical appearance might suggest at first glance, the matrone of Iperborea is great, grandissima.

Frank Westerman


Iperborea: a warm house for writers from the North. And more: a publisher with a broad interest and an open mind. Truly European: aware that culture is our binding factor. And luckily also very Italian, which for me is an other word for: Good Taste.

Adriaan Van Dis



Collana Luci

Prossime uscite

Eventi

Corsi di lingua

Con i corsi di lingue Iperborea continua la sua missione di avvicinamento e scambio tra la cultura scandinava e il nostro paese, iniziata nel 1987 con la ricerca, la traduzione e la pubblicazione delle maggiori opere letterarie classiche e contemporanee del Nord Europa in Italia. Dal 2011 infatti, inizialmente da sola e poi in collaborazione con l’Istituto Culturale Nordico di Anna Brännström, organizza a Milano corsi di lingue nordiche a vari livelli, per singoli e gruppi di tutte le età e per aziende, avvalendosi della collaborazione di insegnanti di lingua professionisti.

I corsi

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