Thorkild Hansen

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Thorkild Hansen (9 January 1927 – 4 February 1989) was a Danish novelist most noted for his historical fiction. He is commonly associated with his trilogy about the Danish slave trade including Slavernes øer (1970) for which he received the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 1971. [1] [2]

Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past. Although the term is commonly used as a synonym for the historical novel, it can also be applied to other types of narrative, including theatre, opera, cinema and television, as well as video games and graphic novels.

<i>Islands of Slaves</i> book by Thorkild Hansen

Islands of Slaves is a 1970 novel by Danish author Thorkild Hansen. It won the Nordic Council's Literature Prize in 1971.

The Nordic Council Literature Prize is awarded for a work of literature written in one of the languages of the Nordic countries, that meets "high literary and artistic standards". Established in 1962, the prize is awarded every year, and is worth 350,000 Danish kroner (2008). Eligible works are typically novels, plays, collections of poetry, short stories or essays, or other works that were published for the first time during the last four years, or in the case of works written in Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish, within the last two years. The prize is one of the most prestigious awards that Nordic authors can win.



Hansen was born at Ordrup in Gentofte Municipality, Denmark. He attended Holte Gymnasium and from 1945-47 studied literature at the University of Copenhagen. In 1947, he moved to Paris where he wrote dispatches for the Copenhagen-based Ekstra Bladet . After returning to Denmark in 1952, he devoted his efforts to a series of novels. Several featured aspects of the Danish era of imperialism. Det Lykkelige Arabien: En Dansk Ekspedition (1962) covered the Danish Arabia expedition (1761–67) led by Carsten Niebuhr. [3] His book Jens Munk (1965) was about Danish-Norwegian sea captain Jens Munk and his attempt to locate the Northwest Passage. [4] [5]

Ordrup ancient monument in Gentofte Municipality (96035)

Ordrup is a district of Gentofte Municipality in the northern suburbs of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is located circa 12 km (7.5 mi) north of the city centre.

Gentofte Municipality Municipality in Capital Region, Denmark

Gentofte Kommune is a municipality in the Capital Region of Denmark on the east coast of the island of Zealand (Sjælland) in eastern Denmark. It covers an area of 25.54 km2 (9.86 sq mi), and has a total population of 74,548. Since 1993, its mayor has been Hans Toft, a member of the Conservative People's Party.

Holte suburban district in Rudersdal Municipality on the northern outskirts of Copenhagen

Holte is a suburban district in Rudersdal Municipality on the northern outskirts of Copenhagen, Denmark. The local town centre is centred on Holte station and is surrounded by extensive areas of single-family, detached homes as well as several lakes and forests. The district has merged with the old villages of Søllerød and Øverød which both belong to Holte postal district. Gammel Holte, a few kilometres to the east, also in Rudersdal Municipality but merged with the urban area of neighbouring Hørsholm, predates what is now called Holte by several hundred years; in the past Holte was formally referred to as Ny Holte to distinguish the two.[1]

He died prematurely during a voyage in the Caribbean. [6]

Caribbean region to the center-east of America composed of many islands and of coastal regions of continental countries surrounding the Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.


Søren Gyldendal Prize Danish literary award

The Søren Gyldendal Prize is a Danish literary award, which was established in 1958 by Gyldendal Publishing House. The prize is awarded annually on 12 April, the anniversary of the birthday of Søren Gyldendal (1742-1802) founder of Gyldendal Publishing House. In 1958 the prize was DKK 10,0000. In the period 1991 to 2000 it was increased to DKK 100,000. From 2001 to 2008 it was DKK 150,000. Since 2009 it has been DKK 200,000.

De Gyldne Laurbær award

De Gyldne Laurbær is a Danish literature award, which was established in 1949. The award is handed by The Committee De Gyldne Laurbær, formerly Boghandlerklubben. The prize is given annually in February or March. Originally the award was a laurel wreath, a golden pin with an inscription, some money and a book gift worth 2500 DKK. Today the award is a laurel wreathe, a diploma and a book gift worth 2500 DKK. The award is handed at a ceremony arranged by the publishing house which has published the winning book and by the Committee De Gyldne Laurbær. Early in January every year the committee sends out ballot to all the Danish bookshops, which then give their vote for a Danish book which was published the year before. An author can only win The Golden Laurel once-in-a-lifetime, so the bookshops can not vote for an author who has already won the prize once before. The winner is usually one of the bestsellers among the Danish books. On the day when it is decided who wins the Golden Laurel, the president of the Committee of The Golden Laurel informs the winner about the award, while journalists follow the event.

Selected works

Coast of Slaves is a 1967 novel by Danish author Thorkild Hansen. It won the Nordic Council's Literature Prize in 1971.

Ships of Slaves is a 1968 novel by Danish author Thorkild Hansen. It won the Nordic Council's Literature Prize in 1971.

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  1. "Thorkild Hansen (1927–1989)". New York Review Books. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  2. "Thorkild Hansen". African Books Collective. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  3. Colin Dwyer. "In The Refrains Of 'Arabia Felix,' A Reminder: Often The End Is Just A Start". National Public Radio. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  4. "1971 Thorkild Hansen, Denmark: Slavernes øer". Nordic Co-operation. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  5. Michigan State University author bio Archived 2007-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  6. F.J. Billeskov Jansen, Merete Harding: Thorkild Hansen Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, Gyldendal
  7. Also published in English as North West to Hudson's Bay: The Life and Times of Jens Munk (1970)
  8. apparently never translated into English), adapted as a film (1996) with Max von Sydow as Knut Hamsun