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.


Shortlisted for Trjei 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
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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.

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‘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.

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‘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.

‘Back in the Day’ shortlisted for the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize 2023

Oliver Lovrenski’s smashing debut Back in the Day has been shortlisted for the highly acclaimed Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize (Bokhandlerprisen).

Lovrenski is hailed as the youngest ever nominee of the award, and the nomination follows the title’s constant presence at the top of the best seller list since publication.

The Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize is awarded following a vote amongst all those who work in bookstores in Norway. Eligible books are those considered to be one of the “Books of the Year” written by a Norwegian author. The prize was awarded for the first time in 1948, and this year’s winner will be announced on November 14.

‘Back in the Day’ No. 1 in Norway

Oliver Lovrenski continues to dominate the Norwegian hardcover list, coming in at No. 1 with Back in the Day. Anders de la Motte meanwhile debuts on the e-book list with his just published The Glass Man, which comes in at No. 5. The Glass Man is the second installment in the Leo Asker series.

Oliver Lovrenski No. 1 in Norway

Back in the Day, Oliver Lovrenski’s highly anticipated debut novel, shoots to No. 1 on the official hardcover and e-book bestseller lists in Norway. The title also comes in at No. 1 on the list for Norwegian original language publications.

New title: ‘Back in the Day’

They’re young, filled with angst, pills, hope and love. The parents are powerless, the police are hated, and the child welfare has no control. Ivor and his best friends Marco, Jonas and Arjan are sixteen years old, live right in the middle a modern-day city, and fall deeper and deeper down into a world of intoxication, violence and criminality. But beyond that, there’s friendship, laughter, love, the yearning for grandparents and an unbreakable bond between young men.

Back in the Day is a novel about friendship and hope, about growing up too fast, and longing for what you’ve never had. We follow the boys’ day-to-day life through notes and longer passages where Ivor lets his thoughts and feelings flow throughout the pages. It is a rough story stemming from the urgency of our contemporary city life, characterized by violence and criminality, as well as by warmth and love.

Back in the Day is Oliver Lovrenski’s literary debut; a raw coming-of-age novel from modern Oslo.

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