Nobel Prize in Literature-1928
Nobel Committee in its citation stated that the prize was given
"principally for her powerful
descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages. "
Born: 20/05/1882 in Kalundborg, Denmark
Died: 10/06/1949 in Lillehammer,
Sigrid was born in Denmark and was the eldest of three daughters. When
she was two, the family moved to Norway and stayed in Oslo where her
father worked as archaeologist. When she was 11, her father died of a
long illness. She could not afford higher education because of
financial hardship & worked as a Secretary in an engineering company
for nearly 10 years.
She started work for her first novel at the age of 16 and completed it
when she was 22. It was a historical novel. The publisher promptly
rejected it. In the mean time, she worked on her second novel which
was first rejected but later on was accepted. It was a lean book and
the theme was adultery. The book was well received and she was
recognized as a promising writer. She wrote many novels which were
women centric and talked of women emanicipation.
She started on her major work,
after the end of First World War. She saw pain, suffering, death and
other extreme emotions at close quarters and the novel depicted them
against the background of a distant past. Then followed
her another magnificient
In 1934, she published Eleven Years Old, her autobiographical work. In
Germany, Hitler was in ascendancy and she wrote against him. Her books
were promptly banned in Germany.
In 1940 , She fled Norway during the
Nazi invasion along with her younger son and arrived in US. Her eldest
son who was a Second Lieutenant in the Norwegian Army was killed in an
encounter with German troops at Segalstad bridge near their house. Her
sick daughter had died just before the outbreak of War. She returned
to Norway in 1945 after the country was liberated.
Devastated and sick, she did not
resume writing and died four years later. She was buried in the
village of Meslani and her grave is marked by three crosses
that include her eldest son and daughter.
To honour her, a crater in Venus ((Latitude
51.7°, Longitude 60.8°, Diameter 20 KM)
is named after her. She is depicted in a two-kroner Postage stamp in
1982. Sweden also issued a stamp in 1998 to commemorate her
4 Volume Series
The Axe, The Snake, In the Wilderness, The Son
Avenger ; Gunnar's Daughter(1909),
Happy Time in Norway(1942)
Order Sigrid Undset's Books below