Hanne Ørstavik

Ti Amo

The protagonist of Ti Amo is a woman who is in a deep and real, but relatively new relationship with a man from Milan. She has moved there, they have married, and they are close in every way. Then he is diagnosed with cancer. It’s serious, but they try to go about their lives as best they can. But when the doctor tells the woman that her husband has less than a year to live – without telling the husband – death comes between them. She knows it’s coming, but he doesn’t – and he doesn’t seem to want to know.


Ti Amo is an incredibly beautiful and harrowing novel, filled with tenderness and grief, love and loneliness. It delves into the complex emotions of bereavement, and in less than 100 pages manages to encapsulate an extraordinary scope and depth, asking how and for whom we can live, when the one we love best is about to die.

Read an Excerpt
Paperback: £11.99
EBook: £9.99
Translator: Martin Aitken
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 6 September 2022
ISBN: 9781913505486
Ebook ISBN: 9781913505493
Number of pages: 96



‘What do we really talk about when we talk about “truth” in literature? Ørstavik’s painful book on grief provides rich answers. Thoughtful and – even for her – enormously raw, Ørstavik accomplishes an astonishing amount in very few pages.’


‘An exceptionally good novel about grieving and waiting . . . Ørstavik writes so well that the book feels essential, timeless and universal.’


‘Ørstavik writes mercilessly and beautifully about losing her husband. This little novel is a heart-breaking gem. Ti Amo is an endlessly sorrowful novel, but it's written with such forceful presence, a kind of wonder and tenderness towards life and a celebration of love, that you can’t help but feel enriched by reading it. It’s very hard and very beautiful.’


‘One of the most powerful things about the book is its description of the process of losing someone to illness. The time it takes. That it’s possible to feel bereaved even before death arrives . . . It’s exhausting reading, breathless in its resignation . . . And then, midway through the book, there is a turning point. This is where the book really grabbed me, catching me off guard, brilliantly. Without revealing too much, I will say that it’s one of life’s ambushes deep down in the valley of death, equal parts dream and taboo, possible and impossible, an incident that gives grief a nuance it can probably only have for those who have stared into its eyes long enough.’  

Klassekampen, Best of 2020

‘This little novel from Ørstavik opens up spaces full of emotion and wise thoughts about life, love and death. All we can do is say thank you, and enter.’

Adresseavisen, #1 on the Best of 2020 list

‘Hanne Ørstavik has written perhaps her finest novel about her life’s greatest loss.’  

Astrid Fosvold
Vårt Land, Best of 2020

‘With Ti Amo, Hanne Ørstavik rediscovers the intensity and presence of her first novel Love. Ti Amo explores the liminal experiences that a novel can contain. At the same time we see her oeuvre from a new perspective. It’s a powerful novel about loving, and her best in a long time.’

Adresseavisen, 6/6 stars

‘A tender novel about losing your closest one to cancer. Perceptive, thoughtful and brilliantly written . . . [Ørstavik’s] novels are characterised by her use of language and words to create identity. She has never done it as successfully and satisfyingly as now . . . above all it’s a beautiful novel. About love in a real sense.’

Vårt Land

‘What is true? What is real? How do you get inside another human being? These questions have been central throughout Hanne Ørstavik’s work. In her latest novel, Ti Amo, in a story which is her own, she takes these questions to another level . . . Ørstavik has an impressive ability to expose a person’s inner world, to find a way in to where it hurts the most and explore complex experiences in simple prose, without everything falling apart.’

Books by Hanne Ørstavik