Synopses & Reviews
The epic novel of man and nature that won its author the Nobel Prize in Literature-the first new English translation since the novel's original publication ninety years ago
When it was first published in 1917, Growth of the Soil was immediately recognized as a masterpiece. Ninety years later it remains a transporting literary experience. In the story of Isak, who leaves his village to clear a homestead and raise a family amid the untilled tracts of the Norwegian back country, Knut Hamsun evokes the elemental bond between humans and the land. Newly translated by the acclaimed Hamsun scholar Sverre Lyngstad, Hamsun's novel is a work of preternatural calm, stern beauty, and biblical power-and the crowning achievement of one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.
"Growth of the Soil
impresses me as among the very greatest novels I have ever read. It is wholly beautiful; it is saturated with wisdom and humor and tenderness."
-H. G. Wells
"The whole modern school of fiction in the twentieth century stems from Hamsun."
-Isaac Bashevis Singer
About the Author
Nobel Prize winner Knut Hamsun (1858–1952) worked as a laborer in both Scandinavia and America before establishing himself as a successful playwright and novelist.
Sverre Lyngstad, the preeminent scholar of Norwegian literature, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
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.