Niels Fredrik Dahl
Walking Man

Taking old documents, letters and photos as his starting point, the narrator tries to piece together the story of his late father’s childhood. It is an extraordinary, but cold childhood, marked by loneliness, dreams and yearning: In Egypt, where the boy’s father, The Judge, keeps his wife and young son in a colonial iron grip; in the home of strangers in an Oslo suburb; at a boarding school in Geneva, and in hotel rooms up and down through Europe, as the continent is heading for another great war.

Tender, dark and at the same time full of humour, Walking Man is an unforgettable portrait of a boy and a young man’s struggle to live in a world he doesn’t understand, but still tries to be a part of, of the people around him, and of the fateful time he grew up in, It’s also the story of the boy’s mother, herself desperate and full of yearning.

Niels Fredrik Dahl has written a captivating novel about family and love in the 20th century, about a boy and a mother connected by loneliness, and about a loneliness passed down from one generation to the next.

'Intoxicating about loneliness and loss… The novel is one of the best, most poignant, soberest, most elegant, and touching I have read in a very long time… It’s a story filled with longing but also devotion, glamour, and a curiosity for life.'


'… the story of a child, and an adult, who never felt like he belonged. A beautiful novel about hereditary loneliness.'


'The lack of intimacy is heartbreakingly portrayed… The novel illustrates that children are dependent on their parents and loyal in their devotion. Insight and vulnerability are balanced with humor in a beautiful, well-written, and poignant portrait of childhood.'

Vårt Land

Niels Fredrik Dahl

Niels Fredrik Dahl
Fartein Rudjord

Niels Fredrik Dahl is a poet, playwright, and novelist. He is the author of six novels, among them On the Way to a Friend (2002), which won the Norwegian Book Prize (The Brage Prize) and was nominated for the Critics’ Prize and the P2 Listeners’ Prize. The acclaimed historical novel Herre (2009) was also nominated for the P2 Listeners’ Prize. In 2017, he published Mother at Night, which ended up on numerous critics’ best-of lists.

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Henrik Francke
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Edited March 11, 2024 by Oslo Literary Agency