Halldor Laxness

Independent People
  • Independent People

  • The great Icelandic novel by the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Halldór Laxness

    'There are good books and there are great books and there may be a book that is something still more: it is the book of your life' New York Review of Books

    First published in 1946, this is a humane, epic novel set in rural Iceland. Bjartus is a sheep farmer determined to eke a living from a blighted patch of land. Nothing, not merciless weather, nor his family, will come between him and his goal of financial independence. Only Asta Solillja, the child he brings up as his daughter, can pierce his stubborn heart. As she grows up, keen to make her own way in the world, Bjartus's obstinacy threatens to estrange them forever.

    Written by the Nobel prize-winner dubbed the 'Tolstoy of the North', this is a magnificent portrait of the eerie Icelandic landscape and one man's dogged struggle for independence.

    'I defy anyone to finish Halldór Laxness's Independent People without wetting the pages with tears' Jonathan Franzen, Guardian

    'The greatest Icelandic novel and surely one of the best books of the 20th century' Hallgrímur Helgason, Guardian

Halldór Laxness (1908-98) was born near Reykjavik, Iceland. His first novel was published when he was seventeen. The undisputed master of contemporary Icelandic fiction and one of the outstanding novelists of the twentieth-century, he wrote more than sixty books. Laxness was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.

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