#RivetingReads: Gunnar Staalesen recommends HELLEMYRSFOLKET “The people from Hellemyr”) by Amalie Skram

Amalie Skram was a female naturalist writer living from 1846 to 1905; she is one of the most important inspirations for my own writing. She wrote with a huge sympathy for her characters, and her point of view was radical for a female author at the time in which she wrote. Three of her novels are translated into English (Constance Ring, Lucie and Betrayed), but not her main work, the tetralogy, Hellemyrsfolket. In my opinion this is one of the most important and best prose works ever written in Norwegian. Had it been written in English, French or German, Amalie Skram would be an important name in the history of nineteenth-century world fiction.

Recommended by Gunnar Staalesen


Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He is the author of more than twenty titles, which have been published in twenty-four countries and have sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007. Staalesen has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and most recently the Petrona Award for the international bestseller Where Roses Never Die.

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