Gunnhild Øyehaug
Present Tense Machine

A novel about life’s irreparable loneliness. And about love.

Present Tense Machine introduces us to the mother and daughter Anna and Laura. In one startling second, the world splits into parallel universes at one point in the 1990s. Anna and Laura are pulled into separate universes. Twenty-one years later, life has gone on as if nothing happened, but in each of the women’s lives, something’s not quite right.

After numerous essays, short stories, poems and three novels, Gunnhild Øyehaug emerges as one of the country’s smartest, coolest writers.

A novel that expands the mind. Øyehaug creates a sensible and ambiguous novel universe with parallel worlds.
5 out of 6 stars

Øyehaug writes a very original text in which she plays in both narrative form, act and language, without ever becoming artificial.

Dag og Tid

Gunnhild Øyehaug makes fiction great again. A triumph of the imagination. Luminous and masterful. A beautiful novel about loss, loneliness and community.
5 out of 6 stars

Øyehaug’s novel is marked by humour and energy. The novel plays out in a fairly recognisable normal day in Bergen [...] Øyehaug has written a new novel invigorated by language, which is never boring to be in.

The novel’s themes are general ones – loneliness, longing, jealousy, forgetfulness – but what is original here is how Øyehaug makes them breathe, with a perspective that can only be called ingenious, even if the concept becomes somewhat diluted.

Björn Kohlström, Sweden’s most important and most serious literary blogger

Gunnhild Øyehaug

Gunnhild Øyehaug
Foto: Rolf M. Aagaard

Gunnhild Øyehaug (b. 1975) lives in Bergen. She teaches at the Academy of Creative Writing in Hordaland and has been an editor of the literary journals Kraftsentrum and Vagant, and a literary critic in Morgenbladet and Klassekampen.
She made her debut with the poetry Collection Slave of the Blueberry in 1998 and had her great breakthrough with her first novel, Wait, Blink in 2008.
When the short story collection Knots came out in USA (FSG) in 2017, James Wood called her "a Norwegian master of the short story" in the New Yorker.
Øyehaug also writes for film; she co-wrote the screen play based on own novel Wait, Blink, for the movie Women in Oversized Men's Shirts (2015) and has written the short film "Apple", which was awarded the prize for best script for a short film in 2018 by the Norwegian Writer's Guild.

Rights sold to

Denmark, Gutkind
Sweden, Nirstedt/litteratur
USA, Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Other titles

Mini Readings (2017)
Dirt (2016)
The Dinner Party (2014)
Knots (2012)
Wait, Blink (2008)

Foreign rights

Gyldendal Agency
P.O. Box 6860 St. Olavs plass
NO-0130 Oslo
Tel: +47 957 81 640
[email protected]


Nominated for the Youth’s Critics’ Prize 2018

Edited February 10, 2020 by Gyldendal Agency