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Hunger

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A true classic of modern literature that has been described as “one of the most disturbing novels in existence” (Time Out), Hunger is the story of a Norwegian artist who wanders the streets, struggling on the edge of starvation. As hunger overtakes him, he slides inexorably into paranoia and despair. The descent into madness is recounted by the unnamed narrator in increasingly urgent and disjointed prose, as he loses his grip on reality.

Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) was a Norwegian novelist, poet, and playwright. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920.

A true classic of modern literature—and a forerunner of the psychologically driven fiction of Kafka, Camus, and Saramago—Hunger is the story of a Norwegian artist who wanders the streets of Christiania (now Olso), struggling on the edge of starvation while trying to sell his articles to the local newspaper. As the hunger overtakes his body and his mind, the writer slides inexorably into paranoia and despair. The descent into madness is recounted by the unnamed narrator in increasingly urgent and disjointed prose as he loses his grip on his body and on reality itself. At the end—for reasons that remain unclear—he suddenly decides to sign on as a crewman aboard a ship and leave the city behind, saving himself from his otherwise certain death. Arising from Hamsun's belief that literature ought to be about the mysterious workings of the human mind—an attempt as he wrote, to describe "the whisper of the blood and the pleading of the bone marrow"—Hunger is a landmark work that pointed the way toward a new kind of novel.
"The whole modern school of fiction in the twentieth century stems from Hamsun. They were all Hansun's disciples: Thomas Mann and Arthur Schnitzler . . . and even such American writers as Fitzgerald and Hemingway."—Isaac Bashevis Singer

"Something new is happening here, some new thought about the nature of art is being proposed in Hunger. An art that is indistinguishable from the life of the artist who makes it . . . an art that is the direct expression of the effort to express itself."—Paul Auster, from the Introduction
 
"The whole modern school of fiction in the twentieth century stems from Hamsun. They were all Hamsun's disciples: Thomas Mann and Arthur Schnitzler . . . and even such American writers as Fitzgerald and Hemingway."—Isaac Bashevis Singer

"One of the most disturbing novels in existence."—Time Out

"After reading Hunger, one can easily understand why Hamsun was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Hunger should appeal to any reader who is interested in a masterpiece by one of this century's great novelists."—James Goldwasser, Detroit News

Synopsis:

A true classic of modern literature that has been described as “one of the most disturbing novels in existence” (Time Out), Hunger is the story of a Norwegian artist who wanders the streets, struggling on the edge of starvation. As hunger overtakes him, he slides inexorably into paranoia and despair. The descent into madness is recounted by the unnamed narrator in increasingly urgent and disjointed prose, as he loses his grip on reality.

About the Author

Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) was a Norwegian novelist, poet, and playwright.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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AReader, September 13, 2009 (view all comments by AReader)
It is not hard to see why this book was a Nobel prize winner, as although it does not contain a steady narrative it is an amazing book as you feel the hunger that constantly gnaws at the character and you sympathise with him as his hunger leads him to desperation and his desperation leads to desperate measures, as at one time or another he contemplates selling his clothes and even ends up selling his jacket and the blanket he sleeps on. But the main character is too proud to beg and too noble and honest to steal food making you sympathise with him with every hunger pang he suffers.


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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374531102
Author:
Hamsun, Knut
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Translator:
Bly, Robert
Introduction by:
Auster, Paul
Introduction:
Auster, Paul
Author:
Auster, Paul
Author:
Bly, Robert
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Depression, mental
Subject:
Genius
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20080231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.26 x 5.47 x 0.75 in

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Award Winners
Featured Titles » Nobel Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Hunger New Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374531102 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A true classic of modern literature that has been described as “one of the most disturbing novels in existence” (Time Out), Hunger is the story of a Norwegian artist who wanders the streets, struggling on the edge of starvation. As hunger overtakes him, he slides inexorably into paranoia and despair. The descent into madness is recounted by the unnamed narrator in increasingly urgent and disjointed prose, as he loses his grip on reality.

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