Posts with the category ‘Nora’s Story’


CHANNELING IBSEN

The very first word of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, the play my book is built upon, is “hide.” Nora Helmer, the heroine, is talking about hiding the Christmas tree from the children. But that one word opens a door to how she prevaricates, shades the truth and masquerades as a silly, incompetent wife. Indeed, as the play unspools, it’s clear that all the main characters are hiding things from each other. This gap between appearance and what is actually true grows with each act, and finally splits the Helmer’s marriage apart. The entire disaster starts with that single command,… 


Historical Fiction and Disappearing Birds

When I was working on my novel Searching for Nora: After the Doll’s House, I spent many hours driving around the beautiful open prairie of western Minnesota and the Dakotas. I grew quite enchanted by the land, with its huge bowl of sky and tall grass dancing in the wind. I was particularly fond of the birds I spotted – goldfinch, grasshopper sparrows, bobolink – that burst from the scrub along the road as I whooshed by. I loved the yellow-headed blackbirds best. Being from the east coast, I’d never seen one before. Sometimes I drove along the empty roads just… 


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… 


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… 


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