Knut Hamsun, 1859-1952

Biographical note

Knut Hamsun was a leading Norwegian author, born in Lom under the name of Knut Pedersen.

He first received acclaim for his 1890 novel Sult, translated as Hunger. The work, which is semi-autobiographical, described a young writer's descent into near madness as a result of hunger and poverty. In many ways, the novel presages the writings of Franz Kafka and other twentieth-century novelists, who explored the madness of the contemporary human condition.

Other important works by Hamsun include Pan [1894] and The Growth of the Soil [1917], for which he received the Nobel Prize in literature in 1920.

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