Gaarder was born into a pedagogical family. His best known work is the novel Sophie's World, subtitled A Novel about the History of Philosophy (ISBN 0-425-15225-1). This popular work has been translated into fifty-three languages; there are over thirty million copies in print, with three million copies sold in Germany alone.
In 1997, he established the Sophie Prize together with his wife Siri Dannevig. This prize is an international environment and development prize (USD 100,000 = 77,000 €), awarded annually. It is named after the novel.
In 2004, he received the Willy-Brandt-Award in Oslo.
In August 2006, Jostein Gaarder published an op-ed in one of the major daily newspapers in Norway, Aftenposten. This was written in response to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict and condemned certain aspects of Israeli politics and Judaism. Gaarder also argued against recognizing the state of Israel in its current form. The article was accused of promoting antisemitic sentiments, such as describing Judaism as "an archaic national and warlike religion", contrasting it with the "Christian" idea that "[T]he Kingdom of God is compassion and forgiveness". Gaarder disputed the allegations of antisemitism, and sought to clarify that he didn't mean to offend anyone. He claimed that the piece was written in a state of moral outrage over the death toll in Lebanon. Like his initial piece, his attempts at clarification met with mixed reactions.
Wipo Publishes Patent of Framo Engineering as, Haakon Jostein Grimstad and Arne Veland for "Subsea Module Pressure Control" (Norwegian Inventors)
Mar 02, 2013; GENEVA, March 2 -- Publication No. WO/2013/026776 was published on Feb. 28.Title of the invention: "SUBSEA MODULE PRESSURE...