Diving for Seahorses. A Book About Memory


Published in Norway by Cappelen Damm (original title: Å dykke etter sjøhester), 2016, 288 pp.

Rights sold to: France (Marabout), Spain (Grupo Planeta / Editorial Ariel), USA, UK & Canada (Greystone Books), Germany (Piper / Berling Verlag), Denmark (Gyldendal), Netherlands (Balans), Sweden (Norstedts), Australia (New South), Poland (Marginesy), Turkey (Kaplumbaga), Azerbaijan (Qanun), Korea (Mimunsa)



With lightness and humour, the authors — two Norwegian sisters, one a neuropsychologist, and the other an acclaimed writer — skillfully interweave history, research, and exceptional personal stories to offer an illuminating look at one of our most fascinating faculties: our memory. They interview experts of all stripes, from the world’s top neuroscientists to famous novelists, from taxi drivers to quizmasters, to help explain why we remember what we do, how we can train our brains, and what makes us forget. Filled with cutting-edge science and nimble storytelling, the result is a charming and thought-provoking adventure through human memory. “A book,” bestselling author and neuroscientist David Eagleman says, “you can’t forget.”

“Gorgeously researched and written, this is science told as a page-turner rather than a treatise. Be prepared to emerge with a different sense of your life’s memories. A book you can’t forget.”

“The Østby sisters have combined their strengths to produce a lyrically written and lucidly reasoned exploration of how memory works. Diving for Seahorses is full of fascinating characters and indelible scenes that will continue tumbling around in your mind long after you’ve turned its last page.”

“From the first page, it is clear that the Østby sisters have both a good grasp of the topic and skill in literary presentation. The text moves effortlessly between presentation of facts, interviews and reportage. The patient histories which are obligatory in books about neurology are often tragic. Here, they are narrated vividly and with a degree of empathy which I usually find lacking in such literature. As a reader, I value factual prose which places its topic in a wider context. The authors are very successful in this when for example they link research into memories of the Utøya massacre with the case of the murder of Birgitte Tengs. The story of how this latter case changed political praxis is in itself sufficient for me to encourage you to go ahead and read this book.”

“Reading this book will leave you baffled about how complex memory is.”

Diving for seahorses is a unique book about memory, science and research presented with wit and energy.”

Hilde Østby (1975–) is a historian of ideas, author, journalist and former publishing editor. She made her début as an author in 2013 with the critically acclaimed novel Leksikon om lengsel (Lexicon of Longing).

Ylva Østby is a clinical neuropsychologist who devotes her research to the study of memory. She is also vice president of the Norwegian Neuropsychological Society.