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Growth of the Soil (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)

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Growth of the Soil (Penguin Classics) Cover Image
By Knut Hamsun, Sverre Lyngstad (Translator), Brad Leithauser (Introduction by)
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Staff Reviews


"Growth of the Soil impresses me as among the very best novels I have ever read. It is wholly beautiful; it is saturated with wisdom and humor and tenderness." -- H.G. Wells

I keep coming back to this book in my mind, even years after first reading it. Winner of the Nobel Prize in 1920, this novel tells the life of a man named Isak and his family in rural Norway. Demonstrating his aversion to modernity, Hamsun's characters' relationship with the land and nature hearkens back to a simpler time. But the human heart is anything but simple.

— lana

Description


The epic novel of man and nature that won its author the Nobel Prize in Literature, in the first new English translation in more than ninety years

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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

About the Author


Knut Hamsun (1858-1952) was a Norwegian novelist, poet, and playwright hailed by many as one of the founders of modern literature. Born to a poor peasant family in central Norway, he worked as a schoolmaster, sheriff's assistant, laborer, store clerk, farmhand, and streetcar conductor in both Scandinavia and America before establishing himself as a successful playwright and novelist. His first novel, Hunger (1890), was an immediate critical success; he went on to write the novels Mysteries (1892), Pan (1894), Victoria (1898), and The Growth of the Soil (1917), the last of which earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. Sverre Lyngstad (1922-2011; translator, introducer, notes) was a scholar and translator of Norwegian literature and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He translated five of Knut Hamsun's works for Penguin Classics--Hunger (1890), Mysteries (1892), Pan (1894), Victoria (1898), and The Growth of the Soil (1917)--and was honored by the King of Norway with the St. Olav Medal and with the Knight's Cross, First Class, of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit. Brad Leithauser (introducer) 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.

Praise For…


"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

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143105107
ISBN-10: 0143105108
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: October 1st, 2007
Pages: 328
Language: English
Series: Penguin Classics