Nicolai Houm

Born in 1974, Nicolai Houm has published two novels, which were both critically acclaimed in Norway. The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland is the first publication of his work in English. He works part time as an editor in the publishing house Cappelen Damm, and lives in Lier with his wife and daughter.

Translated by Anna Paterson


  • “A virtuosic magic-act . . . [Houm] conjures up the emotional arc of a female life—from childhood loneliness through intense love to midlife derailment—in just 226 undersized pages.”

    The Atlantic

  • “Austerely wrenching and darkly comic . . . A winning novel.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Provocative and gripping.”


  • “In Nicolai Houm’s hands Jane Ashland, and her gradual disappearance, become a darkly hilarious, deeply compelling, and utterly suspenseful story.  I couldn’t wait to find out what Jane would say or do next, how far she would go. A brilliant and fascinating novel.”

    —Margot Livesey, author of Mercury

  • The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland sounds the great echoing spaces of profound grief, grief that threatens to rob life of sense or direction. Nicolai Houm reminds us of what we don’t want to know: that rehearsing disaster may not prevent it from happening. His prose is mordant, his heart compassionate, and he keeps his readers as tantalizingly off-kilter as his titular seeking soul.”

    —Pamela Erens, author of Eleven Hours