The Future Library of Norway is an environmental, literary, and artistic project designed by Scottish artist, Katie Paterson. In 2014, 1,000 trees were planted in Norway. Once a year for the next one hundred years, one writer will be chosen to contribute an original work, which will not be read until 2114. That year, the fully-grown forest will be chopped down and used as paper to publish an anthology of the writers’ pieces.
In 2014, Margaret Atwood was chosen to be the first Future Library author. “For me, it’s the great unknown,” the Canadian writer states, “but it’s a very hopeful gesture. It means somewhere in the future there will still be readers. There will still be people. There’ll still be a forest in Norway. There will still be a library.” The only information available about Atwood’s book is the title, Scribbler Moon.
Since 2014, David Mitchell, Sjón, Elif Shafak, and Han Kang have been chosen to contribute to the Future Library. South Korean writer Han Kang dragged a white cloth through the forest before wrapping it around her book. In Korea, white cloth is traditionally used to clothe newborn babies and those recently deceased. In an interview, Kang stated, “it was like a wedding of my manuscript with this forest. Or a lullaby for a century-long sleep, softly touching the earth all the way. So, this is time to say goodbye.” Her book, named Dear Son, My Beloved, will not be read by any human for 95 years.
The next author to join the Future Library will be selected later this year.