by Kari Hesthamar

Title So Long, Marianne - Ei kärleikshistorie
Author Kari Hesthamar
Country & Year Norway 2008
Publisher Spartacus, Norway
Pages 256 pages
Notes ISBN 8243004483
Language: Norwegian
Summary Marianne Ihlen was 23 years old when she arrived on the Greek island of Hydra. Leonard Cohen immortalised her in the song “So long, Marianne.” The story begins in the 1950s, in Oslo, a town marked by jazz and a budding youth rebellion. Together with her boyfriend Axel Jensen, Marianne runs away to Greece and lands on the island of Hydra, where a few international artists have already congregated, and they are soon joined by Göran Tunstrøm. Axel and Marianne buy a small white washed house where Axel Jensen amongst other stories writes his novel Line. After a couple of years Axel leaves the island, Marianne and their six months little son, for another woman. One day Marianne was in the village shop with her basket waiting to pick up bottled water and milk, a dark man is standing in the doorway with the sun behind him. He is saying: “Would you like to join us, we’re sitting outside?” It is Leonard Cohen. He calls her the most beautiful woman he has ever met. Cohen drives her home from Greece to Oslo. Later she receives a telegram from Montreal: “Have house. All I need is my woman and her son. Love Leonard.” Shortly afterwards she goes to Canada with her little boy. Cohen, Marianne and “little Axel” live together during the 60s, and commute between Montreal, New York and Hydra. Cohen dedicated his collection of poetry, Flowers for Hitler, to her. He has written many of his most famous poems and songs inspired by Marianne. Now, for the first time Marianne tells her story in this book, in co-operation with Kari Hesthamar. The book is illustrated with never before seen photos, facsimiles and letters.

Special thanks to Marianne Ihlen and Kari Hesthamar
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