Undset, Sigrid

Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928

One of the greatest writers Norway has fostered, Sigrid Undset (1882-1949) made her breakthrough in 1911 with the novel Jenny . Her name will, however, always be most strongly associated with the trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter , which has been sold worldwide for decades. Her historical novels won her the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928.

Sigrid Undset was born in Denmark, the eldest daughter of a Norwegian father and a Danish mother, and moved with her family to Oslo two years later.

Her first manuscript, a historical novel, was returned from a publisher around 1905 with the following words: "Never try a historical novel again. You're not capable of this kind of writing.You might try and write something modern. You never know!". In 1907 she made her debut with the novel Mrs. Marta Oulie, but the break trough came with Jenny (1911).

In 1920 Undset published the first volume of Kristin Lavransdatter, the medieval triolgy that would become her most famous work. Set in 14th century Norway, it depicts the conflict between freedom of the individual and his or her duties towards the family, the Church and society at large. Beginning in 1925 she wrote two books on Olav Audunssøn, also set in the Middle Ages.

Her contemporary novels are noted for frankness and depth. She was also a prolific essaysist on subjects ranging from Scandinavian history and literature to the Catholic church (to which she became a convert in 1924) and politics. During the Nazi occupation of Norway (1940-45) , Undset lived as refugee in New York City. She returned home in 1945 and lived in Lillehammer until her death in 1949.

To celebrate the fact that in 2007 100 years have passed since she made her debut, Aschehoug is proud to publish Sigrid Undset's Complete Works in 24 volumes. Five volumes of her fiction and one collection of her essays were published in 2004. In 2005 her famous trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter was added to the Complete Works, in 2006 the two books on Olav Audunssøn followed. The whole project is scheduled to be finished in 2007. Many of her essays and articles are now published in volume form for the first time.

Selected bibliography & translations

Year Norwegian title English Title Rights sold to Foreign publisher
1992 Fred på jorden Peace on Earth
1979 Kjære Dea Dear Dea
1968 I grålysningen By the Crack of Dawn
1965 Sigurd og hans tapre venner Sigurd and His Brave Companions
American English Alfred A. Knopf
Danish Jespersen og Pio
1957 Sten Steensen Blicher Sten Steensen Blicher
1952 Artikler og taler fra krigstiden Articles and tales from the Wartime
1951 Caterina av Siena Caterina of Siena
American English Ignatius Press
Hungarian Kairosz
1947 Lykkelige dager Happy Days
American English Alfred A. Knopf, New York
Arabic Dar Fadaat
Czech Vysehrad
Danish Jespersen og Pio
French Les éditions du temps
German Bruno Cassirer
1945 Tilbake til fremtiden Return to the Future
British English Scandinavian Marketplace
French Librairie Stock, Paris
1939 Klosterliv - På pilegrimsferd - Sognekirken Living in a monestary - A Pilgrimage - The parishal churches
Danish Jespersen og Pio, Copenhagen
1939 Madame Dorthea Madame Dorthea
American English Alfred A. Knopf
Czech Vysehrad
Danish Jespersen og Pio
Estonian Ajaaramat
French Éditions Stock
German Bruno Cassirer
1938 Selvportretter og landskapsbilleder Self-portraits and pictures of landscapes
1937 Norske helgener Norwegian Saints
German Bruno Cassirer
1936 Den trofaste hustru The Faithful Wife
American English Alfred A. Knopf, New York
Czech Vysehrad
Danish Jespersen og Pio, Copenhagen
Estonian Eesti Ramat
French Édition Gallimard, Paris
Polish Institut Wydawniczy Pax, Warsaw
1934 Elleve år - Tolv år Eleven Years, Twelve Years
American English Alfred A. Knopf, New York
Czech Vysehrad
Danish Jespersen og Pio, Copenhagen
French Éditions Stock, Paris
German Bruno Cassirer
1933 Faser - ny række Phases - A new line
1932 Ida Elisabeth Ida Elisabeth
American English Alfred A. Knopf , New York
Czech Vysehrad
Danish Jespersen og Pio, Copenhagen
Estonian Eesti Raamat, Tallinn
French Editions de la Paix, Paris
German Rütten & Loening
Spanish Palabra
1930 Hellig Olav, Norges konge Holy Olav, King of Norway
1930 Den brændende busk The Burning Bush
American English Alfred A. Knopf
Estonian Eesti Raamat
French Editions de la Paix
German Rütten & Loening
Polish Wydawniczy Pax
1929 Etapper Phases
1929 Gymnadenia The Wild Orchid
American English Alfred A. Knopf
Danish Jespersen og Pio
Estonian Eesti Raamat
French Editions de la Paix
German Bruno Cassirer
1927 Katholsk propaganda Catholic Propaganda
1927 Olav Audunssøn og hans barn Olav Audunssøn and his Children
American English Alfred A. Knopf
Czech Jespersen og Pio
Estonian Eesti Raamat
German S. Fischer Verlag
Polish BC Edukacja
Slovakian Slovensky spisovatel
Slovene Koper
Spanish Ediciones Encuentro
1925 Olav Audunssøn i Hestviken Olav Audunssøn of Hestviken
American English Alfred A. Knopf
Czech Vysehrad
Danish Jespersen og Pio
Estonian Eesti Raamat
Finnish WSOY
German S. Fischer Verlag
Polish BC Edukacja
Slovakian Slovensky spisovatel
Slovene Koper
Spanish Ediciones Encuentro
1920 Kristin Lavransdatter Kristin Lavransdatter
American English Alfred A. Knopf, New York
Bengali Book Club, Dhaka
Bulgarian Emas Publishers
Czech DILIA (audio)
Danish Lindhardt og Ringhof, Copenhagen
Dramatisering Trøndelag Teater
Dutch
Estonian Eesti Raamat, Tallinn
Faeroese Sprotin
Finnish WSOY, Helsinki
French
Georgian Bakur Sulakauri
Georgian MTP
German Rütten & Loening, Frankfurt
Hebrew Schocken
Icelandic
Italian Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli, Milan
Latvian Zvaigzne
Macedonian ViG Zenica
Polish BC Edukacja
Swedish Norstedts
1919 Et kvindesynspunkt A Womans Point of View
French Pardes
1918 De kloke jomfruer The Wise Virgins
Danish Jespersen og Pio, Copenhagen
1917 Splinten av troldspeilet Images in a Mirror
American English Alfred A. Knopf,
1915 Fortællinger om kong Artur og Ridderne av det runde bord Tales about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Polish Instytut Wydawniczy Pax
Russian Text Publishers
1914 Vaaren The Spring
Czech Vysehrad
Danish Jespersen og Pio
Estonian Eesti Raamat
French Librairie Stock
German Universitas Verlag
Macedonian Congress Service Center/Mikena
Russian Progress-Tradition
Slovakian Tatran
1912 Fattige skjebner Fates of the Poor
British English Édition Rombaldi
Czech Vysehrad
Danish Jespersen og Pio, Copenhagen
French Librairie Stock, Paris
German Universitas Verlag
Polish Instytut Wydawniczy Pax
Russian Progress-Tradition, Moscow
Slovakian Tatran
1911 Jenny Jenny
American English
Bulgarian Narodna Kultura, Sofia
Czech Lidové nakladatelstoí
Danish Jespersen og Pio, Copenhagen
Estonian
Finnish
French
Georgian Intelekti Publishers
German Universitas Verlag
Russian OGI Publishing
Swedish Norstedts, Stockholm (first publisher)/Bromberg (new publisher)
1910 Ungdom Youth
1909 Fortællingen om Viga-Ljot og Vigdis Gunnar's Daughter
Albanian Publishing House SHKUPI
American English Penguin Group, New York
Czech Vysehrad
Estonian Eesti Raamat, Tallinn
French Éditions la robe noire
German Bruno Cassirer
Italian Iperborea, Milan
1908 Den lykkelige alder The Happy Age
Albanian Botime B-Books
French Éditions Stock
German Bruno Cassirer
Slovakian Slovensky spisovatel
1907 Fru Marta Oulie Mrs. Marta Oulie
Albanian Skanderbeg
Dutch Uitgeverij Atlas
Estonian Eesti Ramat
German Egmont Hörverlag
Russian Progress-Tradition
Slovene Modrijan

Printer friendly versionPrinter friendly version