Magnhild Haalke was born in Vikna, an island off the Namdalen coast in Nord-Trøndelag, Norway. Before she took up writing she worked as a teacher for 30 years in Sør-Odal. In 1922, she married her second cousin, Hjalmar Kristian Haalke (1894–1964) who was an artist.
She made her literary debut in 1935 with the novel Allis sønn. Her deep psychological insight and great environmental descriptions ensured her a lasting place in Norwegian literature. Eventually she wrote nearly 30 books. Haalke made use of strong, colorful language and lush figures of speech. Her novels often focused on adult insensitive treatment of defenseless youth. The role of the mother in childhood development was a frequent subject. In several books she wrote of values relating to childhood environment and family traditions.
Her trilogy Åkfestet (1936), Dagblinket (1937) and Rød haust? (1941) describes the fate of a woman growing up on a small farm. The trilogy was later reworked into Grys saga (1950, two books).
The trilogy Karenanna Velde (1946), Kaja Augusta (1947) and Kvinneverden (1954) is from a rural district on the coast of Trøndelag.
Haalke was awarded Gyldendal's Endowment in 1949 and the Dobloug Prize in 1980. She was the first recipient of Mads Wiel Nygaards Endowment, which she was awarded in 1953, which she shared with novelist, Lizzie Juvkam (1883–1969). From 1954, she received a national artist salary from the national government.
- Allis sønn, 1935
- Åkfestet, 1936
- Dagblinket, 1937
- Trine Torgersen, 1940
- Rød haust?, 1941
- Kan vi bygge en bedre menneskeslekt?, 1946 (lecture)
- Karenanna Velde, 1946
- Kaja Augusta, 1947
- Grys saga (contains Åkfestet, Dagblinket og Rød haust?), 2 volumes, 1950
- Kvinneverden, 1954
- Serinas hus, 1955
- Munter kvinne, 1957
- Dragspill, 1958 (short stories)
- Kommer far i dag?, 1969
- Sol og skygge, 1971 (short stories)
- Mot nytt liv, 1978 (autobiographical)
- Magnhild Haalke (Store norske leksikon)
- "Nordiske priser" (in Norwegian). Bærum bibliotek. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
- "Mads Wiel Nygaards Legat" (in Norwegian). Forfatterportalen.no. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
Ingeborg Møller and
|Recipient of the Gyldendal's Endowment
(shared with Gunnar Larsen
Egil Rasmussen and
Hans Henrik Holm
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