Jostein Gaarder is a Norwegian author and intellectualist. He was born in 1952 in Oslo, Norway. He has written novels, short stories and children’s books.
Gaarder was raised by teachers, his mother also wrote children’s books.
Gaarder attended The University of Oslo where he studied religion, Nordic literature and the history of ideas. He graduated in 1976 and began teaching. He wrote some textbooks on philosophy and theology but it wasn’t until 1982 when he published his first short stories and by the late 1980s, he had released two children’s books. In his writing, Gaarder tends to prefer writing from the perspective of a child regardless of the content.
His best known novel, Sophie’s World is a journey into the history of philosophy. The book has sold over forty million copies and has been translated in 53 languages. It is about a 14-year old girl named Sophie Amundsen who meets an elderly philosopher (Alberto Knox) and is introduced into the world of philosophical thinking and theory. It has been adapted into a game, various tv series and film.
The book has a best-seller in nearly every country where it was released and its success is considered an astonishing feat considering the dense philosophy and theology that is contained within a story about a young teenage girl.
Gaarder has continued to write and is an activist and proponent of human rights.
Other works by Gaarder: