Gro Holm

1878 - 1949


Gro Holm provoked a scandal in her local community leading to a protest in the newspapers by farmers’ wives and the burning of her debut novel Sut, 1932, by a man who found it vulgar. She was born and grew up on a small farm in Odda, Hardanger, and in 1908 married the engineer and artist Olav Holm, who accompanied her on a study tour of Europe. In 1920, she took over the family farm from her mother.

Her debut novel, in which a farmer’s wife, Brita Løstøl, speaks, is the first part of her major work Løstølsfolket, 1-3, 1932-1934, and is the first account of ordinary life in Norway that mercilessly destroys all romantic notions of farming life and exposes the debasement of women. Her work was later perceived as a rich and vibrant cultural monument, a tribute to exhausted mothers of a previous age. Her other works are De hvite kull (N), 1936, and Takk så var det ikke mer (N), 1937.