A grand, sweeping saga of sacrifice and struggle, this epic tale recaptures the world of Norwegian homesteaders at the turn of the twentieth century. Isak and Inger, an idealistic young couple, reject modern society to raise their family on a back country farm. Isak's embrace of outdoor life reflects author Knut Hamsun's attitude of rugged individualism and his back-to-nature philosophy. Rich in symbolism, this moving tale of peasant life and the search for spiritual fulfillment in nature continues to resonate with modern readers.
First published in Norwegian in 1917, Growth of the Soil created an international sensation and led to the author's 1920 Nobel Prize in Literature. The New Yorker noted that "the list of those who loved [Hamsun's] sly, anarchic voice is long," naming Ernest Hemingway, Hermann Hesse, and AndrE Gide as fans. "I am not usually lavish with my praise," remarked H. G. Wells, "but indeed the book impresses me as among the very greatest novels I have ever read."
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