The Future Library Project

What if you wrote a book that no-one will read for 100 years?

The forests of Norway, about an hour north of Oslo, is the home of the Future Library.  Surrounded by Norwegian spruce, birch and pine trees, this unique library is located in this remote area, protected by the city against the threat of urban sprawl.

Founded by Scotttish artist, Katie Paterson, the Future Library Trust recruits a new writer each year to contribute a manuscript that will remain unpublished for up to 100 years.  Authors are selected for their outstanding contributions to literature and poetry for their works’ ability to capture the imagination of this and future generations.

Authors who have already contributed are : Margaret Atwood in 2014, David Mitchell in 2015, Sjon in 2016, Elif Shafak in 2017, and Han Kang in 2018.   Each author decides just exactly what they will contribute.

With the guidance of foresters from the Agency of Urban Environment who have been tending this land for over one hundred years, Katie Paterson has planted one thousand Norwegian spruce trees in May 2014.   The plan is that in 2114, these trees will be cut down and used to print the texts.

For the latest author, Han Kang, leaving her manuscript was a deeply personal event.  Her work is titled “Dear Son, My Beloved”.  It is unknown what the story is about and no-one other than the author will know for 100 years.

[sources: Bookstr, “This writer’s new book won’t be published for 100 years”, by Sage Negron, 28/05/2019, The Guardian, “Han Kang hands over book to remain unseen until 2114“, by Alison Flood, 28/05/2019 and Future Library : 2014 – 2114 website]

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