Gro Dahle

Portrait Gro Dahle
© K. Sjøwall

The Norwegian author, poet, and writing teacher Gro Dahle was born in Oslo in 1962 and grew up in Tønsberg, Aruba, and New Jersey. Dahle studied English philology, history of religion, and psychology at the University of Oslo, and also completed several writing courses.

She made her début in 1987 with the poetry collection »Audiens« (tr: Audience). Since then, she has published more than thirty books, including numerous children’s books and picture books for adults and children. Gro Dahle likes to experiment with different literary genres, but her main thematic focus is on interpersonal relationships and psychological problems. She writes with a simple, vivid style, with texts that are rich in fantastic elements. »Gro Dahle’s texts … may seem banal and strange at first glance, but when you read them thoroughly you will find that they open up a multitude of associations that point in many surprising directions« (Øystein Rottem, »Norges litteraturhistorie«). Most of her children’s books were written in collaboration with her husband, the illustrator and author Svein Nyhus, including »Snill« (2002), »Sinna Mann« (2003; Eng. »Angryman«, 2019), »Tikk takk, sier Tiden« (2005; tr: Tiden Says Thanks), »Håret til mamma« (2007; tr: Mama’s Hair) and »God natt, natt« (2009; tr: Good Night, Night). »Sinna Mann« deals with the subject of domestic violence. A boy named Boj experiences insecurity and fear because his mother lives with a violent man. The book has been adapted several times for the stage, and an animated film of the same name by Anita Killi (2009) and a Danish children’s opera with music by Steingrimur Rohloff have also been produced.

Dahle not only made a name for herself as a children’s book author, but also as a poet and prose writer. Her first novel »Huset i snøen« (tr: The House in the Snow) was published in 2006 to very positive reviews. Her collection of short prose »America« (2015) tells the story of a small family moving to America from the perspective of a child.

Grohe has received numerous awards for her literary work; among others, she was the official festival poet of the International Festival in Bergen in 1999 and won the Brageprisen for »Snill« in 2002 as well as the Children’s Book Prize of the Norwegian Ministry of Culture for »Sinna Mann« in 2003, together with Svein Nyhus, with whom she also received the Critics’ Prize for the best children’s and young adult book for »Akvarium« in 2014. Dahle was also awarded the Aschehougprisen for her oeuvre in 1998 and the Triztán Vindtorn Poetry Prize in 2015. Her books have been translated into many languages. Gro Dahle lives with her husband Svein Nyhus on the island of Tjøme in Vestfold and teaches at universities in Norway and Sweden. One of her three children is Kaia Dahle Nyhus, who was born in 1990 and is an illustrator and children’s book author.