Johanna Frid

Daughter-in-law and mother-in-law meet at an airport. For a day they await a delayed plane and as the hours pass the confrontations become more relentless.

For the daughter-in-law it becomes more and more obvious what a dominant role the mother-in-law playes in the relationship between herself and her husband’s life. What happens when you realize that you are suddenly three people in a couple relationship?

“I was not captured. I wasn’t being held hostage. I wasn’t in hell. It wasn’t the devil who sat down at my table for a quick chat. The devil has club foot and the devil doesn’t drink pear soda. Harald’s mother was an ordinary woman who wanted to see her son after he spent six weeks in reahab in the Norwegian mountains. The big question was why I was there and why I want to see her son after he spent six weeks in rehab in the Norwegian mountains.”

Harald’s Mother is Johanna Frid’s comeback after the breakthrough novel Nora or Burn Oslo burn.

230 pages


Croatia: OceanMore
Denmark: GAD
Finland: WSOY
Germany: Eichborn Verlag
Norway: Aschehoug
Serbia: Odiseja
Sweden: Albert Bonniers Förlag

Film rights

“Johanna Frid builds a full-scale and sharp generational war. The collision of two systems of thought, between inquisition and existential doubt./…/ Our protagonist is simply playing a theater of language, where her precise sense of the value of the words makes it impossible to submit to the stupidities of an ordinary conversation. This novel is a manic flare-up – full of pendulum movements, symmetries and borrowings from the Bible, Simone de Beauvoir and Inger Christensen.”
Dagens Nyheter / SWE

“The Frid prose is recognizable in this novel, as is the bitter humor. Harald’s mother is also a page-turner of rank. It’s all-out war, but of the entertaining kind, because Frid’s portrait of his mother-in-law is so drippingly mean./…/I would love to sit in a book club with women of different ages and discuss this poisonous dance of death.”
Svenska Dagbladet / SWE

“I’m jealous of Frid and her female self-narrator’s ability to spit out the untimely period. In such a sharp, funny and sad way that the pages curl up in festive despair./…/ The scenery changes quickly and rhythmically and Johanna Frid’s mess is venomously composed. The smallest supporting character is memorable. Like Sofia Ursuladotter, some kind of addiction therapist, strongly satirized by Frid’s burning pen. Which will certainly create a fires also other European language areas. Johanna Frid has already managed to book her own room in several countries. Yes!”
Expressen / SWE

“This is a storyteller who doesn’t fawn for me in any way./…/ Johanna Frid’s prose is constantly on alert. It’s sarcastic, it’s absurd, it’s screwed up and a bit bushy. The characters glitter and whine and behave at times completely borderline towards each other./…/Johanna Frid has a quality that I hold incredibly high: she is funny!!! Rough, brutal and night-black sarcastic. In Swedish contemporary prose, it is a rare flower.”
GöteborgsPosten /SWE

“In the airport bar, a Strindbergian dance of death is fought between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law. /…/ Harald’s Mother has a sulphurous mood about it, and as a reader you are nailed to the pages when when Frid portrays how Claudia and Harald’s relationship slowly breaks down.”
Aftonbladet /SWE

“General disgust is not quite as concentrated an emotion as jealousy that is the theme in there. And this is female totally revealed broken politeness. It’s very, very funny!”
SR (Swedish Radio) /SWE

“Johanna Frid writes cutting edge and a good portion of dark humor about one of the trickiest, close relationships that exists.”
Vi läser / SWE

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