Kristin Lavransdatter (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
- Paperback | 1168 pages
- 143 x 213 x 49mm | 1,181g
- 20 Jul 2006
- Penguin Putnam Inc
- Penguin USA
- New York, NY, United States
Other books in this series
01 Jan 2004
"[My favorite fictional hero or heroine is] probably Sigrid Undset's strong-willed, sensual, self-destructive and ultimately rock-solid Kristin Lavransdatter. . . . Kristin's eponymous trilogy bears many rereadings. Right away one somehow identifies with this daughter of medieval Norway; soon one compassionates her in her sufferings. . . . For all her faults [she] inspires love in many around her, including this reader. Her faith and loyalty make her quite beautiful to me. Like Murasaki and Dos Passos, Undset tells the story of a whole life." --William T. Vollman, The New York Times Book Review "We consider it the best book our judges have ever selected and it has been better received by our subscribers than any other book." --Book-of-the-Month Club
"The finest historical novel our 20th century has yet produced; indeed it dwarfs most of the fiction of any kind that Europe has produced in the last twenty years." --Contemporary Movements in European Literature
"As a novel it must be ranked with the greatest the world knows today." --Montreal Star
"Sigrid Undset's trilogy embodies more of life, seen understandingly and seriously . . . than any novel since Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov. It is also very probably the noblest work of fiction ever to have been inspired by the Catholic art of life." --Commonweal
"The first great story founded upon the normal events of a normal woman's existence. It is as great and as rich, as simple and as profound, as such a story should be." --Des Moines Register
"No other novelist, past or present, has bodied forth the medieval world with such richness and fullness of indisputable genius. . . . One of the finest minds in European literature." --New York Herald Tribune
"A master . . . writing in a prose as vigorous, articulate and naturalistic as the novel it re-creates, Tiina Nunnally brilliantly captures a world both remote and strangely familiar." --Judges' citation, PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize
About Sigrid Undset
Although Undset wrote more modern novels, a collection of essays on feminism, as well as numerous book reviews and newspaper articles, her fascination with the Middle Ages never ebbed, and in 1920 she published The Wreath, the first volume of her most famous work, Kristin Lavransdatter. The next two volumes quickly followed--The Wife in 1921, and The Cross in 1922. The trilogy earned Undset worldwide acclaim, and her second great medieval epic--the four-volume The Master of Hestviken (1925-1927) --confirmed her place as one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. In 1928, at the age of 46, she received the Nobel Prize for Literature, only the third woman to be so honored.
Undset went on to publish more novels--including the autobiographical The Longest Years--and several collections of essays during the 1930s. As the Germans advanced through Norway in 1940, Undset, an outspoken critic of Nazism, fled the country and eventually settled in Brooklyn, New York. She returned to her homeland in 1945, and two years later she was awarded Norway's highest honor for her "distinguished literary work and for service to her country." The years of exile, however, had taken a great toll on her, and she died of a stroke on June 10, 1949.
Brad Leithauser is the author of several novels, four volumes of poetry, and a collection of essays. He is the Emily Dickinson Lecturer in the Humanities at Mount Holyoke College.