Hariton Pushwagner was born Terje Brofos in Oslo in 1940, during a bomb attack. His pseudonym comes from Hare Krishma (Hariton) and supermarket trolleys (Pushwagner). His father was an alcoholic engineer and his mother a biochemist. She would later divorce her husband. He grew up in Berg, a suburb of Oslo. In 1944, he was badly injured in a traffic accident. He was a keen sportsman and became a top tennis player. He wanted to be an artist from an early age and attended the the state craft and art industry school and later the state art academy.
He became friends with the writer Axel Jensen and illustrated several Jensen manuscripts. They lived together, both in Norway and elsewhere. At this time he started work on Soft City but abandoned it and it was only revived and published much later. In the 1970s he lived in London, often sleeping on the streets, where he sold his drawings. He met his first wife Sally and he finished Soft City. He started gaining success in Norway, particularly once he met Morten Dreyer, a Norwegian businessman. However, the two fell out and Pushwagner successfully sued Dreyer. It was only in 2008 that he received real fame, following the Berlin Biennale of that year. He died in 2018.
2008 Soft City (novel)