Lynge, Hans Anthon

Author, translator, journalist and teacher born in Qullissat (Greenland) in 1945.

Hans Anthon Lynge, also known as Hans Anton Lynge and Hanseeraq, was born in Qullissat, a former mining settlement on the island of Disko (in Greenlandic : Qeqertarsuaq) in Eastern Greenland, in 1945. His parents are Pastor Christian Lynge and Ane Birgithe Mariane Karen Lyberth. Hans Anthon Lynge was born in a prominent Greenlandic family : his paternal grandfather was the politician Frederik Lynge (1889-1957) who, among other responsibilities at a local and regional level, was one of the first two Greenlandic representatives in the Danish parliament (Folketinget) ; the other representative was the writer Augo Lynge (1899-1959), a relative. Hans Anthon Lynge’s maternal grandfather was Karl Lyberth (1894-1977), who was a representative in the Northern Greenland Provincial Council (Nordgrønlands Landsråd) in the 1920s.

As an young adult, Hans Anthon Lynge trained as a teacher at the Ilinniarfissuaq, the Greenland Teacher's College also called Godthåb or Nuuk Seminarium, and he graduated in 1970. On May 30, 1977, he married Danish teacher Inge-Lise Kvistgaard Sørensen. Hans Anthon Lynge's career then began to develop in two areas: education and human relations, and creative writing and it has been marked by his constant willingness to innovate in both. Education and, more precisely teaching methods were central to Hans Anthon Lynge’s career. From 1981 to 1997, he was a consultant and adviser in the sector of the teaching of Greenlandic language for the Hjemmestyrets Kultur- og Undervisningsdirektorat (meaning “the Pedagogical Centre for Greenland Self-Government”), at the Inerisaavik, the Institute of Educational Sciences at the University of Greenland at Nuuk. As part of his mission, he edited several schoolbooks. Since 1997, has been a lecturer at the Grønlands Seminarium, his alma mater to which he reaffirms his commitment through a book co-authored with Helga M. Nielsen and Kristian Olsen aaju : Ilinniarfigaakkit. Ilinniarfissuarmi ilinniartuusimasut ilinniartuunilersaarutaat (2000) (approximately meaning : “I was a student at the Ilinniarfissuaq”).

In parallel to his career as a teacher and educator, Hans Anthon Lynge began his writing in 1970: he published a short story and a poem in the anthology Allagarsiat (meaning: “Letters”), which was to be later considered as a major work in contemporary Greenlandic literature. Through his first publication, Hans Anthon Lynge made his entrance in a new generation of Greenlandic authors, such as Moses Olsen, Aqqaluk Lynge or Kristian Olsen aaju. His literary work consists of novels, short stories, poems and film scripts. His first novel Seqajuk was published in Greenlandic in 1976. In this book, the main characters are confronted with inertia, alcoholism, loss of identity and suicide. Seqajuk is considered the first socially critical literary work to be published in Greenlandic society. It was reissued in Greenlandic in 1984; its Danish translation (1979) was reissued in 1987, after it was displayed through samples in the anthology Grønlandsk litteratur : en kommenteret antologi (1983) edited by Christian Berthelsen and Per Langgård. Seqajuk was also translated into Swedish in 1981 and reissued in Swedish as an audiobook in 2009. Hans Anthon Lynge’s second novel Umiarsuup tikinngilaattaanni was published in 1982 and reprinted in 1994 and 2005. It was translated into Danish as Lige før der kommer skib in 1997 and then, from the Danish translation, it was translated into French as Juste avant l'arrivée du bateau in 2003. Its first chapter was translated into English and included in Martin Fortescue's anthology, From the Writings of the Greenlanders: kalaallit atuakkiaannit in 1990. This second novel depicts the daily life of a Greenlandic village through the portraits of various characters. This way of approaching the novel, by capturing the daily actions of the inhabitants of the parish is a first in Greenlandic literature. The novel is characterised by its cinematic style. According to Danish Professor Kirsten Thisted, it is a central work in contemporary Greenlandic literature. Between the 1980s and 2000s, Hans Anthon Lynge published other novels and various collections of poems focusing on the description and social criticism of Greenlandic life. Two poems from his collection Nunanni avani (1990), which was translated into Danish as I Nord hvor jeg bor (literally 'The North where I live') in 1991, are included in the anthology Sila. Praesentation af grønlandske digtere og forfattere af i dag. En antologi (Sila: Presentation of Greenlandic Poets and Authors Today) (1996) by Aqqaluk Lynge. Nunanni Avani brought an rare and precious acknowledgement to Hans Anthon Lynge : in 1991, he was awarded the Nordic Council Literature Prize and thus became the first Greenlandic author to be awarded this prize. His novel Allaqqitat (1997), which was translated into Danish as Bekendelser (1998) won him the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2001, for the second time. Hans Anthon Lynge’s literary work made its entrance in another artistic medium: cinema. He co-authored with Jacob Grønlykke the screenplay for the film Qaamarngup Uummataa. Lysets hjerte. This film, which Lynge says he is very proud of, was released in 2008, and it was subtitled in English and titled Heart of Light the same year. The screenplay depicts the conflict between modernity and tradition in Inuit society and was published in book form in 1997, before the film was released.

Hans Anthon Lynge was awarded the Grønlandske Kulturpris (meaning : « Greenlandic Culture Prize ») in 1999. In the 2010s, his literary work was studied in universities ; several Danish students focused on her novels through their master theses. Thus is crowned a career dedicated to commitment and public responsibilities on the Greenlandic literary scene. from 1980 to 1984, then from 1987 to 1995, Hans Anthon Lynge was actually president of the Greenland Writers' Association (Den Grønlandske forfatterforening). A weekly columnist in Atuagagdliutit. Grønlandsposten, he has also been a member of its board since 1981: Atuagagdliutit. Grønlandsposten is one of Greenland's two main newspapers, it was founded in 1861 by the Danish ethnologist Signe Rink and his husband Johannes Rink, also a Danish ethnologist. Hans Anthon Lynge was also a member of the board of the Greenlandic publishing house Atuakkiorfik between 1993 to 1995. As of 2013, he got involved as an editor-in-chief for Kalaaleq, a periodical dedicated to the diffusion of Greenlandic history and literature as well as to book reviews. Hans Anthon Lynge had sooner published his translations from Danish to Greenlandic in Kalaaleq. As a matter of fact, Hans Anthon Lynge generally writes in Greenlandic and translates some of his works into Danish. He also translates into Greenlandic the works of other writers, including the novels written by the Icelander Halldór Kiljan Laxness, the novel Hvis du fløjter efter nordlyset (2011) by the Dane Hans Jacob Helm, or various works by Signe Rink, a specialist in Greenlandic culture. Hans Anthon Lynge’s work as a literary translator won him the Danske Oversætterpriset (meaning : “Danish Translator’s Prize”) in 2010.

Hans Anthon Lynge's contribution to Greenlandic culture is major. He is considered by several scholars and writers from Denmark as well as from Greenland to be one of Greenland's most prominent postcolonial writers. Author Aqqaluk Lynge, his co-worker at Kalaaleq with whom he has developed a long friendship, has remarked, "What Hanseeraq has given us, the Greenlandic community, is a work of very large extent : in education, in literature, in history and in translations. It is a very important part of Greenland's history.”

Today Hans Anthon Lynge is still editor-in-chief of Kalaaleq. He is well-known and loved in Greenland: for his 75th birthday, Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa, the Greenlandic radio, released a laudatory text about his career on its website.

This biography is based on the available written material during a collective research carried out during 2018-2021. It is possible that mistakes and facts need to be corrected. If you notice an error, or if you wish to correct something in an author's biography, please write to us at and we will be happy to do so. This is how we will be able to have more precise presentations, and to better promote Inuit culture.

(c) International Laboratory for Research on Images of the North, Winter and the Arctic, Université du Québec à Montréal, 2018-2021, Daniel Chartier and al.