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Reviews

  • [Sigrid Undset] should be the next Elena Ferrante . . . If HBO is looking for its next miniseries, it should give Kristin Lavransdatter the proper adaptation it deserves. This trilogy includes illicit sex, affairs, a church fire, an attempted rape, ocean voyages, rebellious virgins cooped up in a convent, predatory priests, an attempted human sacrifice, floods, fights, murders, violent suicide, a gay king, drunken revelry, the Bubonic Plague, deathbed confessions, and sex that makes its heroine ache 'with astonishment - that this was the iniquity that all the songs were about'

    Ruth Graham, Slate
  • Tiina Nunnally's magnificent version revitalised Undset's epic in English: each page glows and sparkles like the landscapes she so wonderfully evokes

    Boyd Tonkin, The 100 Best Novels in Translation
  • [My favourite fictional hero or heroine is] probably Sigrid Undset's strong-willed, sensual, self-destructive and ultimately rock-solid Kristin Lavransdatter. . . . Right away one somehow identifies with this daughter of medieval Norway; soon one compassionates her in her sufferings. . . . Like Murasaki and Dos Passos, Undset tells the story of a whole life

    William T. Vollman, The New York Times Book Review
  • At certain points, Kristin Lavransdatter felt more real than the life I was living

    Lucia Tang, Electric Lit
  • The Nunnally translation is excellent - straightforward but also evocative, lyrical enough in places, but not, like earlier translations, overly romantic or archaic.... Every detail of Kristin Lavransdatter is significant, because the author knows what every detail means and how they all fit together. This makes the novel a rich and satisfying read

    Jane Smiley
  • We consider it the best book our judges have ever selected and it has been better received by our subscribers than any other book

    Book-of-the-Month Club
  • The finest historical novel our 20th century has yet produced; indeed it dwarfs most of the fiction of any kind that Europe has produced in the last twenty years

    Contemporary Movements in European Literature
  • As a novel it must be ranked with the greatest the world knows today

    Montreal Star
  • Sigrid Undset's trilogy embodies more of life, seen understandingly and seriously . . . than any novel since Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov

    Commonweal
  • The first great story founded upon the normal events of a normal woman's existence. It is as great and as rich, as simple and as profound, as such a story should be

    Des Moines Register

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