Anne Karin Elstad was born in Valsøyfjord, Nordmøre. As a child she cared for her sick mother at home, and after her death had to keep house for her father and younger sister although only twelve years of age. She was a teacher up to 1986 and a member of the committee of the Norwegian Authors’ Union from 1983 to 1987, subsequently of Norsk Forfattersentrum, The Norwegian fiction writers' association.
Her debut work was Folket på Innhaug, a nineteenth century historical novel published in 1976, which was followed by Magret, 1977, Nytt fotfeste, 1979, and Vejene møtes, 1980. In the course of four years, it grew into a series of four novels, all of which were immensely popular. Her work Senere, Lena, 1982, was the first in a series of contemporary novels, including – for dagene er onde, 1985, about malicious and fault-finding mentalities in a small village community, and Maria, Maria, 1988, about a brain haemorrhage (based on her personal experience).
Both her genealogical and contemporary novels focus on women’s lives at the point where tradition and independent choice intersect. They are realist in their form and have been translated into several languages.
Additions by the editorial team 2011:
The above biography was first published in 1998. Anne Karin Elstad went on to publish the novels Lenker, 1998, Fri, 2000, Odel, 2003, and Hjem, 2006.