Independent People
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Independent People

4.18 (6,448 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

First published in 1946, this humane epic novel is set in rural Iceland in the early twentieth century. Bjartus is a sheep farmer determined to eke a living from a blighted patch of land. Nothing, not merciless weather, nor his family will come between him and his goal of financial independence. Only Asta Solillja, the child he brings up as his daughter, can pierce his stubborn heart. As she grows up, keen to make her own way in the world, Bjartus' obstinacy threatens to estrange them forever.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 36mm | 381.02g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • Vintage Classics
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 009952712X
  • 9780099527121
  • 8,317

Review quote

"I love this book. It is an unfolding wonder of artistic vision and skill - one of the best books of the 20th century. I can't imagine any greater delight than coming to Independent People for the first time" -- Jane Smiley "Laxness is a poet who writes to the edge of the pages, a visionary who allows a plot: he takes a Tolstoyan overview, he weaves in an Evelyn Waugh-like humour: It is not possible to be unimpressed" * Daily Telegraph * "Marvellously fluent and unaffected... one of the most original and skilfully written novels of the 20th century" * Times Literary Supplement * "There are good books and there are great books and there may be a book that is something still more: it is the book of your life" * New York Review of Books * "Do yourself a favour and read Independent People. Opening this book is like opening a chest of treasures. Reading this book is like taking the treasures out and appreciating them, savouring them, one by one, sentence by sentence. This is the kind of novel that reminds you how glad you are that you learned to read in the first place" * Chicago Tribune *show more

About Halldór Laxness

HALLDOR LAXNESS (1902-98) was born near Reykjavik, Iceland. His first novel was published when he was 17. The undisputed master of contemporary Icelandic fiction and one of the outstanding novelists of the twentieth century, his work was translated into more than 30 languages. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955. J.A. THOMPSON was born in Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1910. After graduating in English and Nordic language and literature from the University of Leeds he worked as a school teacher in Akureyi in the north of Iceland from 1931-2 before moving back to Berwick. His translation of Independent People was his only work of translation, the labour of many years. It is generally accepted to be the finest translation into any language of Laxness's masterpiece.show more

Review Text

"Marvellously fluent and unaffected... one of the most original and skilfully written novels of the 20th century"show more

Back cover copy

TRANSLATED BY J. A. Thompson 'I love this book... I can't imagine any greater delight than coming to Independent People for the first time' Jane Smiley First published in 1946, this is a humane, epic novel set in rural Iceland.Bjartus is a sheep farmer determined to eke a living from a blighted patch of land. Nothing, not merciless weather, nor his family will come between him and his goal of financial independence. Only Asta Solillja, the child he brings up as his daughter, can pierce his stubborn heart. As she grows up, keen to make her own way in the world, Bjartur's obstinacy threatens to estrange them forever. 'There are good books and there are great books and there may be a book that is something still more: it is the book of your life' New York Review of Books See also: Far from the Madding Crowdshow more

Rating details

6,448 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 47% (3,035)
4 32% (2,079)
3 14% (934)
2 4% (269)
1 2% (131)
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