‘To mother is to murder, or close enough,’ thinks Johanna, as she looks at the spelling of the two words in Norwegian.

Recently widowed, Johanna is back in Oslo after a long absence to prepare for a retrospective of her art. The subject of her work is motherhood and some of her more controversial paintings have brought about a dramatic rift between parent and child.  

This new proximity, after decades of acrimonious absence, set both women on edge. Before too long, Johanna finds her mother stalking her thoughts, and herself stalking her mother’s house.  

Is Mother Dead was longlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023, announced on March 14 2023. 

The International Booker Prize 2023
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Vigdis Hjorth

Vigdis Hjorth

About the Author

Vigdis Hjorth is a prize-winning, and best-selling, author and essayist.
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Charlotte Barslund

Charlotte Barslund

About the Translator

Charlotte Barslund is a hugely experienced translator of Scandinavian novels and plays.
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This is a dark, chilling book. One of its tricks is to rely on a narrator who is an anti-heroine, and who can be annoying because of her narcissism and her malice. That’s what makes her real and what makes us care about her.