The Art of being Ela

Johanna Nilsson


Rights sold

Norway: Damm

Poland: Replika

Sweden: Wahlström & Widstrand, Månpocket

“My name is Ela. I’m twenty-six years old. Mamma and Pappa divorced when I was twenty and had just moved from home. Something inside me died that day. I have no idea why I should bother working, creating a family, loving, being loved, when in the end you’re going to die anyway. Jimmy at work keeps trying to catch my eye, but I have no use for love. Love dies when everything falls apart. Our super, Albin, wants me to take out his dog for walks. Sniff is a bulldog with a pacemaker. And then there’s Clara. She’s six years old and lives in the basement and needs someone to take care of her, but I can’t even take care of myself.”


Johanna Nilsson’s fourth novel is a tender, funny depiction of a young woman’s finding her way and creating her own life.


282 pages




“Her surest and best book so far.”

Dagens Nyheter


“There’s not an excess word, not a single wrong note in The Art of being Ela.”

Bohuslänningen / Dals Dagblad


“Johanna Nilsson tells a humorous and biting story about the road toward finding yourself.”

Plaza Kvinna


“A novel which has already received awards filled with both humor and emotion. … Straight story-telling and brisk dialogue makes this the perfect book to read on the subway into the city.”

Stockholm City


“She is the empress of her imagined world with one creative insight after the next.”

Upsala Nya Tidningen