In the beautiful city of Bergen in Norway stands a statue of a most interesting author, Amalie Skram. Amalie (1846 – 1905) was born in Bergen and became a brave feminist novelist and writer. She had a difficult childhood when the family lost money and her father left for America, and she was then pressured into marriage with Bernt Mũller, a ship’s captain, with whom she travelled to Australia. The marriage was not happy and she suffered a serious breakdown. She obtained a divorce and later married again.
Not all Amalie’s novels have been translated into English. She is best known for her tetralogy Hellemyrsfolket (The People of Hellemyr) which portrays a Norwegian family over four generations. She was a pioneering feminist author, who gave married women a voice.
A life-sized bronze statue of her by Maja Refsum was unveiled in Bergen in 1949. She looks strong and determined, is elegantly dressed and looks as if she knows where she is going.
Today a prize in her name is awarded annually to Norwegian writers who show particular skill in addressing women’s issues, and she has appeared on a Norwegian postage stamp.
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