What Happens to Nora Helmer?

  When I went to Norway to research my novel Searching for Nora – a sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s famous play A Doll’s House – I was curious to know what Norwegians thought of Nora Helmer. Nora, the character at the center of Ibsen’s drama, is a powerful but contradictory woman. She’s at turns silly, conniving, loving, manipulative, charming and desperate. She’s trying to avert a disaster but events slip from her control and, as the curtain falls, she walks out on her husband and family with a slam of the door. It’s one of the most famous moments in… 


Should I Read the Play First?

Because my novel Searching for Nora is a sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, many people have asked me if they should read the play before they read my book. It’s a good question, and I always tell them “it depends.” It depends on whether they have seen the play or read it in the past. It depends on what they remember. It depends on how much time they have, and how much patience. In truth, readers don’t need to read A Doll’s House before reading Searching for Nora because I wove the play’s important plot points into… 


What’s In a Book Title?

While promoting my novel Searching for Nora last week, I got an interesting question: how did I come up with the title? Ah, the title. It seems like that should be the easiest part of the book to write. In the movie version of a writer’s life, you see the author slip a piece of paper into a typewriter, roll it into place and, click clack, type in the title. Then they start writing. Or, if they are going to be ambushed by writer’s block, they stop after the title. The title should be obvious. The title should be easy…. 


Creating the “Nora’s Journey” Photo Essay

While I was writing Searching for Nora, I often ran the story through my head like a movie, tinkering with scenes and enjoying the extended dream of the novel. When my husband and I talked about the book, he liked to imagine which actress would play Nora in the movie version, or where it might be shot. The entire time I worked on the book, Nora’s and Solvi’s worlds lived in my head, images at every turn. But when you write, you have to rely on words to convey the rich texture of the world you see in your mind’s… 


Who is Solvi Lange?

My new novel, Searching for Nora, braids together two tales. The primary story is set in Norway and Minnesota in the 1880’s, and traces what happens to Nora Helmer, the heroine of Henrik Ibsen’s iconic play A Doll’s House. The secondary story is set in Norway as well, but in 1919, and features a young university student named Solvi Lange. She’s a lonely girl with a rebellious spirit and a fierce yen for the truth. She sprang to life so I could view Nora through the prism of time and turn-of-the-century social change. Solvi and her friend Rikka are some… 



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