Åsne Maria Gundersen debuts with Verden ender her, a novel about the fear of being vulnerable, not being in control, that life and the world might end at any time.
The main character and narrator in the novel is Hanne, a young woman who has recently gone on leave from her job. Together with her boyfriend, Jan, she travels to a small Spanish island off the coast of Africa. They will live there for six months to find peace and inspiration: he is trying to finish a book he is writing and she is trying to find a way out of her desk job at the college. The island was once the edge of the known world, the place Columbus travelled from when he discovered America. It is now a peaceful holiday destination for families with young children and backpackers, with small beaches, picturesque villages and an evergreen, virgin forest. But the holiday paradise soon seems bleak and unsettling to Hanne: the sun shines endlessly from a clear blue sky, the waves crash ceaselessly onto the black beaches and the surface of the ocean is never still. The nature documentaries she watches with Jan in the evenings, in which death often occurs in a brutal and gruesome manner merge with her fear of what might happen to her own body. She imagines sharks attacking, comets on a collision course with the Earth and cancer cells growing in secret. She keeps Jan at arm's length, watching him with a gaze that is tender and contemptuous by turns. And beneath all this lie the thoughts of her mother and the inevitable phone call.
Verden ender her is an intense depiction of a troubled and destructive mind.