Anne-Cath. Vestly

Anne-Cath. Vestly (15 February 1920 – 15 December 2008) was a Norwegian author of children's literature. She is known for a wide range of books published from 1953 to 2004. Vestly was best known for her series about a grandmother (Mormor) who looked after and shared numerous adventures with a flock of eight children.[1]

Anne-Cath. Vestly
Vestly in 1963
Vestly in 1963
BornAnna Catharina Schulerud
(1920-02-15)15 February 1920
Rena, Norway
Died15 December 2008(2008-12-15) (aged 88)
Mjøndalen, Norway
OccupationChildren's book author
SpouseJohan Vestly
Children2 sons


Vestly was born Anne Catharina Schulerud in the village of Rena in Åmot municipality in Hedmark, Norway. She was the daughter of Mentz Oliver Schulerud (1877–1931) and Aagot Schulerud (1875–1957). Her father was a pharmacist and owned a hardware store. Her mother was a schoolteacher. Vestly took her Examen artium at Lillehammer in 1939. She then moved with her mother to Oslo, where she studied at the University of Oslo, attended trade school, and became involved in amateur theater work.[2]

She came into contact with radio programming in 1946 through her brother Mentz Schulerud, who was employed as program secretary at Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Vestly soon started her career with children's entertainment on the radio and television. Most of her books were first presented as readings on the NRK program Barnetimen for de minste. She also co-starred with Alf Prøysen in Kanutten og Romeo Klive (1963), a popular children's television show on NRK.[3]

Vestly's first book, Ole Aleksander Filibom-bom-bom, eventually developed into a twelve-volume series. She challenged the traditional gender roles in the "Aurora" series (1966–1972), in which she depicts a family where the mother works as a lawyer, while the father, an ancient history Ph.D. candidate, stays at home with their two children.[4]

Vestly's most famous work, Eight Children and a Truck (Åtte små, to store og en lastebil in Norwegian), concerns a family with eight children living in a small apartment in Oslo. It was the first in a series of nine books, the last of which was published in 2000, about the children’s maternal grandmother (Mormor). The series is known as the "Eight Children" series in English (Mormor og de åtte ungene in Norwegian) and was published in English translation by Methuen Publishing. Several of Vestly's books were adapted to film. She also worked as an actress, playing the role of Grandma on television and in the screen versions, Mormor og de åtte ungene i byen (1977) and Mormor og de åtte ungene i skogen (1979).[2][3]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1946, she married Johan Vestly (1923-1993). They were the parents of two sons: Jo (born 1948) and Håkon (born 1957). Vestly's husband illustrated all her books until his death in 1993. She was the sister of author, radio personality, and theatre director Mentz Schulerud. She was also the aunt of Ingrid Schulerud, who was married to Norwegian prime minister, later Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg.[5]

Anne-Cath. Vestly was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in early 2006. She spent her final years living in a nursing home in Mjøndalen, where she died in 2008 at the age of 88.[6]

Selected awardsEdit


  1. ^ Hedeman, Anders (15 December 2008). "Anne-Cath. Vestly er død". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 19 December 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  2. ^ a b Karin Beate Vold. "Anne-Cath Vestly". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b Sofie Arneberg. "Anne-Cath Vestly". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Anne-Cath. Vestly". Gyldendal ASA. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  5. ^ Lars Roar Langslet. "Mentz Schulerud". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  6. ^ Nina Berglund (6 January 2009). "Author Anne-Cath Vestly laid to rest". News in English. no. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
Preceded by
Recipient of the Norsk kulturråds ærespris
Succeeded by