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Gunnar's daughter
Undset, Sigrid
Adult Fiction UNDSET

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Sigrid Undset was the daughter of archeologist Ingvald Undset. Cultural, autobiographical, and religious topics constitute a large and interesting portion of her fiction, which in Norway is categorized according to the time of action: medieval or modern. Jenny (1911), an idealistic and tragic love story, is one of the latter novels. Undset's comprehensive knowledge of medieval Scandinavian culture has its literary monuments in Kristin Lavransdatter (1920--22) and The Master of Hestviken (1925--27), historical novels that depict life in the Norwegian Middle Ages. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. Norwegian criticism of Sigrid Undset's writing centers on her religiosity (she became a conservative, almost reactionary Catholic in Lutheran Norway in the 1920s; she possesses an intensity of belief that is rather naturally expressed in the medieval novels. Yet while she has written religious polemics, the medieval novels are not tendentious. In fact, the central motifs are eroticism, marriage, and family life, in short, the full life of a medieval woman who sees herself in the light of contemporary Christian beliefs. These novels are great, realistic delineations of medieval personalities. During World War II she escaped the German occupation of Norway and fled to America, where she wrote her autobiographical Happy Times in Norway (1942). (Bowker Author Biography)

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