Fugletribunalet The Bird Tribunal

After a scandal which left her in shatters, Allis Hagtorn leaves her life behind to work as a housekeeper for Sigurd Bagge, a man in his forties. Allis goes from being a name on everybody’s lips into the shadows of anonymity. At first, she embraces this new life, but it doesn’t take long for her fascination for Sigurd to take over. Who is this man? And what does he want from Allis? As they are drawn closer to one another in the desolate house by the sea, an eerie atmosphere hints of unresolved secrets from the past.

Two people have set out in exile. Both carry a wish to repent; one for shame, the other for guilt. What does it take to start over? A thrilling and breathtaking literary page-turner, leaving the reader with trickling chills down the spine.

As heard on BBC’s Books at Bedtime.


English PEN Translation Award (Winner) UK
Dublin Literary Award (Shortlisted) Ireland
Petrona Award (Shortlisted for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year) UK
NRK P2 Listener's Prize Norway
Youth Criticss Prize Norway
Book Blogger Award (Best Norwegian author under 35) Norway
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  • The Bird Tribunal offers an incredible richness of themes /…/ The atonement for the past sins and the titular bird tribunal carry powerful messages, as well as questions of morality and humanity.”

    Crime Review, UK

  • “Ravatn creates a creeping sense of unease, elegantly bringing the peace and menace of the setting to vivid life. The isolated house on the fjord is a character-like shadow in this tale of obsessions. This is domestic suspense with a twist – creepy and wonderful.”

    New Books Magazine, UK

  • “Crackling, fraught and hugely compulsive slice of Nordic Noir /…/ tremendously impressive.”

    Big Issue, UK

  • “A tense and riveting read.”

    Financial Times, UK

  • “Unfolds in an austere style that perfectly captures the bleakly beautiful landscape of Norway’s far north.”

    Irish Times, Ireland

  • “An unrelenting atmosphere of doom fails to prepare readers for the surprising resolution.”

    Publishers Weekly, US

  • “The ending literally pounces on you. ”

    Dagbladet, Norway

  • “It quivers with excitement and surplus (…) about two people, who just want to be found and loved. ”


    Natt og Dag, Norway

  • “The novel remains with you as an electrical charge under your skin. ”

    Dagsavisen, Norway

  • “Beautiful about two damaged souls living under the same roof. ”

    Adresseavisen, Norway

  • “The whole book is characterised by an uncomfortable and ominous tone and an exquisite writing style. It is dark, thrilling and captivating, as we slowly learn more and more about these two lonely people. ”

    International Dublin Literary Award nomination statement, Ireland

Photo: Agnete Brun Agnes Ravatn
  • Suspense
Reading material

English translation

Norwegian edition

Rights sold

Arabic World, Aser Al-Kotob

Bulgaria, Matcom

Czech Republic, Albatros Media

Denmark, Batzer

Estonia, Eesti Raamat

France, Actes Sud

Germany, Btb

Hungary, Terikum

Iceland, Bokafelagid

Italy, Marsillio

Lithuania, Svajoniu knygo

Norway, Samlaget

Russia, AST Licence Limited

Serbia, Agora Publishing House

Spain, Seix Barral

Sweden, Modernista

UK, Orenda Books (World English)

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