Ti Amo

-#1 on Best of 2020, Adresseavisen, Norway
-Best of 2020, Vårt Land

In the autumn of 2018, her husband is diagnosed with cancer. It wasn’t long ago that she moved to Italy to live with him. They have married, they love each other, they feel so close. She knows he is dying. The doctors have told her. But does he really know himself? Does he want to know? Death is present between them all the time, but it has become a thing they cannot talk about.

Ti amo is a harrowing, upsetting, tender novel, a novel about grief, about the loneliness that death creates, but also about deep love and about opening up and embracing life.

What do we really talk about when we talk about “truth” in literature? Hanne Ørstavik’s painful book of grief provides rich answers … thoughtful and – even for her – enormously raw … Ørstavik accomplishes an astonishing amount on few pages in this book

Morgenbladet, Norway

An exceptionally good novel about grieving and waiting … Ørstavik writes brilliantly about life with a husband who is dying … the book’s powerful opening immediately led my thoughts to Marguerite Duras’ iconic love novel The Lover (1984) … Ørstavik writes so well that the book feels both essential, timeless and universal. She manages to show the enormous power that resides in words. Here they make both the husband and love come alive to the reader

Aftenposten, Norway

One of the most powerful things about the book is precisely this description of the process of losing someone to illness. The time it takes. That it’s possible to feel bereaved already before death arrives … It’s exhausting reading, breathless in its resignation … And then, midway through the book, there is a turning point. To me this is where the book really grabbed me, catching me off guard, I would say, in a brilliant way. One shouldn’t reveal too much of this, but I will say that it’s one of life’s ambushes deep down in the valley of death, equal parts dream and taboo, possible and impossible, an incident that gives grief a colour nuance it probably only can have for those who have stared into its eyes long enough.

Klassekampen, Norway

A tender novel about losing your closest one to cancer … perceptive, thoughtful and brilliantly written … [Ørstavik’s] novels are characterised by the way she uses language and words to create identity. She has never done it as successfully and satisfyingly as now … above all it’s a beautiful novel. About love in a real sense

Adresseavisen, Norway 6/6

What is true? What is real? How can you reach in to another human being? These questions have been central throughout Hanne Ørstavik’s work. In her latest novel, Ti amo, in a story which is her own, she takes these questions to another level … Ørstavik has an impressive ability to expose the inner world of a person, to reach in to where it hurts the most and explore complex experiences in simple prose, without everything falling apart

Vårt Land, Norway