About Maria

About Maria

About me

As a child I was often caught in my thoughts and lucky enough to be surrounded by books. As one of the literary heroines of my youth put it – paper has more patience than people.

I debuted 2005 and has since written several novels and short stories. My strongest motivation is always the same. To tell a good story and do it with the most beautiful language possible.

My books often deal with a secret or a riddle and I brood a lot over how people think and feel, how they became what they are. I am happy to write about the past as well as the present. My grandparents all got old and I knew them well, all four. Their stories and lives have had a strong influence.

I am born and raised in the Swedish town Uppsala, where I studied English and Mathematics. After that I studied journalism in Gothenburg and later I took a Master of Arts in the USA in political science, focusing on international relations. I have worked several years as a foreign correspondant in Germany for economic media and radio. All summers are spent in Frillesås on the Swedish westcoast, where my family have stayed for four generations. I am married and have two adult children.

Dancing and music have also played important roles in my life. And figure skating. I never managed the highest jumps, though. I have to save that for my books.

Facts and figures

  • Debut book Caipirinha with Death published in Sweden 2005.
  • Eleven novels and several short stories.
  • Published in 13 countries.
  • More than a million books sold.
  • Great successes, especially in Germany and France.
  • Top list placements in Sweden, Germany and Taiwan.
  • Silver paperback for Buster’s Ears, 25 000 ex sold during first year of release.
  • Gold paperback for Always With You, 50 000 ex sold during first year of release.
  • Three French book awards, the booksellers’ price Prix Page des Libraires for Buster’s Ears and Prix La Passerelle and Prix de l’Armetière for the same book.
  • Prize for best translation to French, fiction, for Buster’s Ears, awarded at Lire en Poche in Gradignan. Translator Esther Sermage.
  • Nomination for Prix Littéraire Cezan Inter-CE for Always With You.
  • Nomination for Stora Läsarpriset, The Great Readers’ Prize, at Bokcirklar.se for Always With You.
  • Nomination for Le Prix des lecteurs du festival Littératures Européennes for The Scarred Pianist.
  • Swedish filmcompany Filmlance acquires the film option for Cleopatra’s Comb in order to produce a TV-series.
  • Résidence(s), a French documentary by French filmmaker Isabelle Chéreau about Maria Ernestam and her authorship, is shown at literary festivals, filmfestivals as well as French cinemas. The film is currently available on Youtube and on this homepage.