He belongs among the most significant and highly acclaimed living Norwegian writers. He is the recipient of the Nordic Council Prize for Literature and the only Norwegian writer to have won the Norwegian Critics' Prize three times. He primarily writes novels, but is also the author of essays, short stories, plays and reportage books from the World Cup. In his work, he analyzes and comments on social and cultural events in Norway and Scandinavia, developments in Norway and Scandinavia, earning him the title of their literary chronicler. His books are explore the theme of social pretense and the potential of authentic existence in contemporary society. His novels, Novel 11, Book 18 and Shyness and Dignity have also been published in Czech.