Amalie Skram was born Berthe Amalie Alver in Bergen, Norway. She had a difficult childhood, and her parents' small business went bankrupt when she was 16. Her father then left Norway for the USA to avoid imprisonment, leaving her mother with five children to support. Amalie was pressured into a marriage with Bernt Ulrik August Müller, a ship's captain about 10 years older. The union produced two sons but was unhappy; after a brief hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital, Amalie separated from her husband and then divorced. She moved with her children to the capital of Kristiania (now Oslo), where she began her writing career. She made her literary debut with the short story "Madam Høiers leiefolk" (Madam Høier's Lodgers) published in a magazine in 1882. In 1884, she remarried to Danish writer Erik Skram, and moved to Copenhagen. She had a daughter from this marriage. Her first novel, Constance Ring, appeared in 1885. She suffered another mental breakdown in 1894, and spent years living in a psychiatric hospital near Roskilde. Her second married ended in 1900, and she died five years later. Her novels were considered radical and provocative for their explorations of unhappy marriages, female sexuality, and the second-class status of women, and were received with some open hostility that may have contributed to her mental breakdown. She described her struggles as a wife, mother, and artist in her two autobiographical novels, Professor Hieronimus (1895) and På St. Jørgen (At St. Jorgen’s, also 1895), giving a thinly-veiled description of her own psychiatric treatment. The two books were adapted for Danish television in 1987. Her works, which had fallen into obscurity with her death, were rediscovered and received critical recognition in the 1960s. Today she's recognized as pioneering feminist author and one of the foremost Naturalist writers of her time. The Skram-prisen or Amalie Skram Prize, named in her honor in 1994, is awarded annually to Norwegian authors who show exceptional skill in addressing women's issues.