Ugly Duckling Presse

A Hundred Thousand Hours
A Hundred Thousand Hours

Gro Dahle

translated by Rebecca Wadlinger

Poetry | $17 $14
Buy"A jolt of 100,000 kilowatt hours"

The book-length poem A Hundred Thousand Hours is both one of the most celebrated and controversial volumes published in Norway in the past couple decades. A Hundred Thousand Hours revolves around a mother-daughter relationship that exists between alternating forces of harmony and hysteria. Dahle’s stanzas showcase multiple voices and surprise readers as a home becomes a museum, a cemetery, and a place where furniture comes to life. Dahle’s work is fragmentary and eerie--an illustrious example of Scandinavian surrealism.

Excerpt ˇ


 Leaning forward with my feet together, I am a basket for 


lemons. Fused in skin and cartilage. You pull me up through 

the chandelier. Night-mouth against the window. The sound


of a car that disappears. The thigh’s light. The back’s cliff. The boat in

my chest. Hoist the white sail against the wind.


Two pairs of shoes in the hallway. And the sky’s dark blue clarity

in the evening.

Close ˆ

About the Author

Gro Dahle, born 1962 in Oslo, is a Norwegian writer and poet. She has published eight volumes of poetry, five collections of short stories and two novels as well as picture books and poetry for children and plays, musical theatre and opera liberettoes. She has received several awards for her work, especially for her poetry and the picture books, which she makes with her illustrator-husband Svein Nyhus. These picture books are for all ages and are about serious topics like violence in the family, death of a loved one, neglect, aggression, jealousy, psychiatric conditions, and several of them have been translated to many languages all over the world. As well as writing, she has worked at a publishing house as a consultant on poetry, and she teaches creative writing and lectures in Norway and Sweden.

About the Translator

Rebecca Wadlinger is a doctoral candidate at the University of Houston. Her writing and translations have appeared in Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, Forklift Ohio, Kenyon Review, Mid-American Review,and the Best New Poets anthology, among others.

Advance Praise

"It feels like I received a jolt of 100,000 kilowatt hours, and I'm still in shock."—Jan Jakob Tønseth, Dagbladet
"...a definite breakthrough work in a great writer's career--poems that deserve a wide audience. I'm at a loss about how to recommend this book in the best possible way."—Tore Renberg, Stavanger Aftenblad