My Grandmother’s House


Marianne Ihlen met a handsome Canadian poet in the spring of 1960. Her husband Axel
Jensen had just left her for another woman, and she was alone on the Greek island of Hydra
with her baby boy, Axel Joachim, just a few months old.
Marianne and Leonard would start a relationship that would last for a decade, and a
friendship that was for life.
In the autumn of 1961, after being apart for a few months, Marianne travelled to Montreal
with little Axel to live with Leonard. In Montreal, staying in bed with the flu, she wrote a
short novel: “My grandmother´s house”, hand-written on yellow paper.
Leonard read it and thought it was witty, sharp and brilliant. He took it to his publisher in
New York, who also liked it a lot. Leonard returned to Montreal with a message for
Marianne: Write some more, and they might want to publish it.
Here it is: “My grandmother´s house”, Marianne Ihlen´s novel. Turn the book and find a
different story: Plenty of exclusive photos of Marianne and Leonard, never before seen.