Oliver Lovrenski

Oliver Lovrenski (b. 2003) grew up in Norway and has a Croatian background. His literary debut, Back in the Day, is an intense, poetic and raw coming-of-age novel from contemporary city life.


The Oslo City Artist Prize Norway – Da vi var yngre Back in the Day 2024
Shortlisted for Tarjei Vesaas’ debutant prize Norway – Da vi var yngre Back in the Day 2024
Shortlisted for Norwegian Radio’s Literary Award (Book of the year) Norway – Da vi var yngre Back in the Day 2023
The Norwegian Bookseller's Prize (Book of the Year) Norway – Da vi var yngre Back in the Day 2023
Shortlisted for Brage Prize (Best fiction of the year) Norway – Da vi var yngre Back in the Day 2023
Close award list


Related news

©Jarli & Jordan Photo: Jarli & Jordan

Oliver Lovrenski to join the Norwegian Crown Princess’ Literature Train

Oliver Lovrenski has been selected to join Norwegian Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s Literature Train. The event will take place on a train traveling from Elverum to Røros in Norway and will include literary talks and events along the way. The Crown Princess’s literature train celebrates ten years this year, and the aim of the event is to spread great literature and the joy of reading.

The Crown Princess has selected some of her favorite authors on the journey, and Oliver Lovrenski is one of the authors to join. The Literature Train takes off on June 11.

‘Back in the Day’ 6 months on the Norwegian bestseller list

Oliver Lovrenski’s lauded debut, Back in the Day, celebrates 6 consecutive months on the official Norwegian bestseller list this week. The title was published in Norway half a year ago and has had a steady place at the top ever since.

Photo: Aschehoug

Oliver Lovrenski receives Aschehoug’s Debutant Scholarship

Aschehoug’s Debutant Scholarship goes to Oliver Lovrenski, for his debut Back in the Day, which received a tremendous reception upon its release last year. The 19-year-old author and his book immediately garnered significant attention and glowing reviews from the entire press corps. Lovrenski received the Bookseller’s Prize as the youngest author ever – and has since been nominated for the Brage Prize, the Norwegian Radio’s Literary Award, and the Tarjei Vesaas’ Debutant Prize. The book appeared on most of the Best Books of the Year-lists for 2023. It has been sold to 14 different countries and has a sold more than 63,000 copies in Norway alone.

Publisher Mads Nygaard held the following speech to the prize winner:

“Such success almost never happens, especially not with a debutant. The book surprises and takes Norwegian literature to an unexpected place. It’s a coming-of-age portrayal on speed. The narrative has a rhythm and timing that are extremely precise. The snapshots make current young lives lived in Oslo come alive. The language belongs to the streets of Oslo; the sociolect makes the characters and environment appear both authentic and alien at the same time – and brings the reader close. Lovrenski manages to make his characters so vivid, whole, and human that the reader finds their way right into their world. Not everything there is beautiful, but we feel it concerns us. In this novel, there is more lived life than many of us will ever experience. This is a gritty tale with a poetic nerve.”

Photo: Jarli&Jordan

Oliver Lovrenski awarded The Oslo City Artist Prize

The Oslo City Artist Prize has just been awarded to Oliver Lovrenski, for his debut novel Back in the Day.

The prize has been presented since 1978 to individuals, groups or cultural entities who in the last year have made outstanding contributions Oslo’s arts scene.

The motivation reads as follows:

“[Back in the Day] has attracted great attention for its energy, style, language, and the insight it provides into a world unfamiliar to much of the literary audience. Humor, loyalty, and friendship are central themes. Lovrenski also received the Bookseller’s Prize of 2023, and was nominated for the Brage Prize with the same novel.

Oliver Lovrenski is awarded the 2023 Oslo City Artist Prize for his exceptional portrayal of an authentic, stylish, and important story about today’s youth in Oslo.”

The prize is awarded by the Business Committee upon recommendation from the Cultural and Education Committee of the Oslo City Council. All residents of Oslo can make nominations for the prize, and the award ceremony will take place on the 21st of March at Oslo City Hall.

©Jarli & Jordan Photo: Jarli&Jordan

Oliver Lovrenski shortlisted for the Tarjei Vesaas’ debutant prize

Oliver Lovrenski’s award-winning debut Back in the Day has been shortlisted for the Tarjei Vesaas’ debutant prize. The prize is awarded annually for the best first literary work in Norwegian and was instituted in 1964 by Tarjei Vesaas.

The jury, consisting of members from the Norwegian Authors’ Union write their motivation as follows:

“In a compellingly rhythmic and musical language, Oliver Lovrenski writes a coming-of-age depiction alongside the traditional Norwegian narrative. In Back in the Day, we meet Igor and his friends, a group of young boys from various parts of the world. In Lovrenski’s succinct prose, dreams are built up and torn down again. The boys find camaraderie in their outsider status. Yet, the longing for a lost sense of security seeps to the surface and strikes the reader with precision. With linguistic sensitivity and a generous dose of humor, the reader is propelled through Oslo’s underground at a high pace. It is an impressively well-composed work that has made a powerful impact on the Norwegian public.”

The winner will be announced on the 9th of March.

Photo: Jarli & Jordan

‘Back in the Day’ shortlisted for the Norwegian Radio’s Literary Award

Oliver Lovrenski’s smashing debut, Back in the Day, has been shortlisted for one of the most prestigious literary awards in Norway, the Norwegian Radio’s Literary Award. The prize is awarded by NRK and the winner will be announced in March, 2024. Previous winners include Linn Ullmann, Karl Ove Knausgård and Matias Faldbakken.

“Oliver Lovrenski takes us inside a story told from within. /…/ But above all, it’s the incredible energy that emanates from this text that stays with me. He has cracked the code. He speaks to everyone,” wrote Knut Hoem at NRK about Back in the Day and gave it a top rating.

Lovrenski, Horst & Enger, Lier Horst and Hjorth & Rosenfeldt on top in Norway

Back in the Day by Oliver Lovrenski remains at No.1 on the hardcover list for week 48, along with Horst & Enger’s Stigma on the paper back list, followed by Jørn Lier Horst’s The Traitor at No. 4. Hjorth & Rosenfeldt steadily hold the No. 1 spot on the e-book list, with The Guilt You Carry, followed by Back in the Day at No. 4.

©JarliJordan_©JeffRicht Photo: Jarli&Jordan;Jeff Richt

‘Back in the Day’ and ‘The Glass Man’ on VG’s ‘Best books of the year’ list

Oliver Lovrenski’s Back in the Day and Anders de la Motte’s second installment in The Leo Asker Series, The Glass Man, are two of the titles featured on Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang’s “Best books of the year 2023” list for literature & fiction. The annual list is put together by renowned critics by picking out their own personal favorite reads of the past year. The critics’ words are as follows:

Back in The Day, for Best Fiction of 2023:
“I can’t recall seeing a debutant receive the kind of attention that Oliver Lovrenski has garnered in a very, very long time. And it’s completely deserved.”

“What a scorcher of a debut novel! The 19-year-old Lovrenski has burst onto the scene, into bookstores, and into the hearts of readers with tremendous force.”

The Glass Man, for Best Crime of 2023:
“A creepy opening kicks off the second book /…/ and the eeriness persists throughout the entire book. De la Motte is adept at creating eerie and fascinating perpetrators. ‘The Glass Man’ is even better than last year’s ‘The Mountain King,’ and it’s extremely difficult to put down.”

‘Back in the Day’ No.1 in Norway

Oliver Lovrenski’s awarded and highly praised debut, Back in the Day, takes back the No.1 spot on the official Norwegian best seller list this week. The title is also on its 7th reprint, a mere two months after publication.

Oliver Lovrenski awarded the 2023 Booksellers’ Prize

Oliver Lovrenski has just been announced as the winner of the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize (Bokhandlerprisen) for ‘Best Book of the Year’. His debut novel, Back in the Day, has topped the bestseller list since publication, received raving reviews, and is hailed as an exceptional, outstanding literary debut.

The Bookseller Prize was awarded by the Minister of Culture, Lubna Jaffery, on November 14 at Litteraturhuset in Oslo. Director of the Booksellers Association, Anne Schiøtz, said the following: “The novel Back in the Day is simply a thunderous debut of the rarest kind, and has taken both booksellers and readers by storm.”

Oliver Lovrenski is the youngest author to ever win the prize.

‘Back in the Day’ shortlisted for the Brage Award

Oliver Lovrenski’s incredible debut, Back in the Day, has been shortlisted for the most prestigious literary award in Norway – the Brage Award (Brageprisen).

The jury calls Lovrenski a “linguistic genius” who “shows enormous literary talent”.

The full motivation is as follows: “The novel is inspired by Lovrenski’s own life. It is strong, humorous, tender, and heartfelt. Lovrenski, who is still a teenager himself, displays immense literary talent with his impressive creativity, linguistic genius, and the ability to captivate the reader from the very first sentence. Back in the Day is a fantastic contemporary literature from an authentic voice that truly knows what he’s talking about. It’s a novel that’s hard to put down and hard to forget. A novel you simply fall in love with.”

Should Lovrenski win, he will be the first ever debutant to receive the Brage Award in the fiction category. The winner will be announced 23 November.

Show more stories