Nfld. & Labrador

Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard thinks some Newfoundlanders are fat

Karl Ove Knausgaard's comments that he "had never seen people that fat before" were published in an article he wrote for The New York Times.

'I had never seen people that fat before,' he wrote in The New York Times

Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard visited Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula in December and wrote in an article for The New York Times, saying he was shocked by the 'enormous girth' of the locals. (Maria Teresa Slanzi)

Award-winning Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard thinks Newfoundlanders are fat … at least based on some observations he made at a restaurant in St. Anthony, on the island's Northern Peninsula. 

His comments were published in an article he wrote for The New York Times on Wednesday.

It's part of a series called "My Saga," where Knausgaard visits sites of Norwegian significance in North America.

Knausgaard's first stop was Newfoundland in December, to see the Viking settlement in L'Anse aux Meadows, on the Northern Peninsula.

Along the way, he stayed in nearby St. Anthony and had a meal at Jungle Jim's, a local chain restaurant.

"Everyone in the place, except the waiter, was fat, some of them so fat that I kept having to look at them. I had never seen people that fat before," he wrote in The New York Times.

"The strange thing was that none of them looked as if they were trying to hide their enormous girth; quite the opposite, several people were wearing tight T-shirts with their big bellies sticking out proudly."

Knausgaard also wrote that he couldn't figure out the menu, with "all those chicken wings and barbecue."

He settled on a spaghetti dish.

Reaction to Norwegian writer on 'fat' Newfoundlanders

7 years ago
Reaction to Norwegian writer on 'fat' Newfoundlanders 2:24

"It consisted mainly of cheese, and tasted like something I could have cooked myself, back when I was still a student and would mix myself something out of whatever was in the fridge," he wrote.


  • Knausgaard's description of fat Newfoundlanders is limited to what he saw inside a restaurant. The headline on this story has been changed to more accurately reflect his observations
    Mar 02, 2015 9:07 AM NT


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?