Ari Mikael Behn (born 30 September 1972) is a Norwegian author. He has written three novels, three collections of short stories, three plays and a book about his wedding. His 1999 short stories collection Trist som faen (“Sad as hell”) sold in about 100 000 copies and received several favourable reviews. His books have been translated into Swedish, Danish, German, Hungarian, and Icelandic as well as French. In the spring of 2011, Ari Behn made his debut as a playwright with Treningstimen, directed by Kim Sørensen and staged at Rogaland Teater.

He married Princess Märtha Louise in 2002; they announced they are divorcing in 2016.

Behn was born in Århus, Denmark, and mostly grew up in Moss, where his parents moved when he was six years old. He is the eldest child of Olav Bjørshol (b. 1952) and Marianne Rafaela Solberg (b. 1953). Both his parents are Waldorf teachers who have worked at the Waldorf School in Moss; his father has a degree in special education while his mother was trained as a Waldorf teacher. His parents married in 1973 but divorced after nine years; both since remarried, Olav Bjørshol to a daughter of André Bjerke. However, in 2007 Behn’s parents remarried.

Behn’s original surname was Bjørshol. In 1996, he changed his name to Ari Behn when he took his maternal grandmother’s maiden name. The name Behn has German origin. He has two younger siblings, Anja Sabrina and Espen, neither of whom use the name Behn. In 2009, it was made public that Behn’s de jure paternal grandfather Bjarne Nikolai Bjørshol was not his biological grandfather. Behn’s father met his biological father, Terje Erling Ingebrigtsen (1933-2009), a retired car mechanic from Tromsø, for the first time, but Ingebrigtsen died before Behn had a chance to meet him.

Ari attended the Waldorf School in Moss and is baptized in The Christian Community. He has a bachelor’s degree in history and religion from University of Oslo.

Behn achieved great literary success in Norway with his first collection of short stories, titled Trist som faen (“Sad as hell”), which received several good reviews and has sold more than 100,000 copies. In 2011, his play “Workout” was produced at Rogaland Theater.

Together with his former wife, Princess Märtha, he has written a book about their wedding in 2002. He has also participated in various creative projects, for example, the design of china for Magnor Glassverk, and has been a model for a clothing chain.

He has also produced several TV-documentaries with photographer Per Heimly, about their travels to exotic locations around the world questioning serious topics like explointing oilsand-production in Canada, for which he was awarded the prize for “Best TV-entertainment” in 2011.


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