Erlend Kaasa: BUT NOT MARIA

Cover of "But Not Maria"

Men ikkje Maria
Published by Samlaget, 2019

Living on the brink of disaster
Family life wasn’t always part of Palle’s life plans, but now he’s here: living with his wife Gro and a baby in a Bergen suburb. Right at the start of his paternity leave, Palle is looking forward to engaging with family life and getting to know his little Dagne. Yet under the surface of his day-to-day life, there is a burning, all-consuming darkness. Gro has started up a relationship with an older colleague and soon Maria, their Albanian au pair, is also taking greater steps into their lives. Maria slowly takes over Gro’s role in the household, forming close bonds with Palle and their little daughter.

But not Maria is a novel about a life teetering between ruin and salvation. A tale of lust, betrayal, love and death. About how extraordinarily difficult it can be to live an ordinary, easy life.


Erlend Kassa (b. 1976) debuted with Thunder Road in 2009, then released Livius in 2015. One critic wrote about Thunder Road: “grippingly good, well-constructed and artistically successful […] a masterpiece of a literary premiere.” (Daily paper, Stavanger Afterblad). About Livius, a critic was quoted saying: “Livius is a straight-up truly gripping novel where nothing is certain until the very last page.” (Weekly paper, Morgenbladet). Kaasa majored in Media Studies at the University of Bergen and now works as a teacher.