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The Islander: A Biography of Halldór Laxness
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The Islander: A Biography of Halldór Laxness

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  22 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Halldór Laxness won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1955. During his life, which spanned nearly the entire century, he not only wrote60 books, but also became an active participant in Europe’s idealistic debates and struggles.In the 1930s, Laxness became attracted to Soviet communism. He traveled widely in the Soviet Bloc and, despite witnessing some atrocities, remained ...more
Hardcover, 486 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Quercus (first published 2004)
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Let me begin by acknowledging one of my prejudices: I am in love with most things Icelandic. That includes the medieval sagas, the works of Nobel Prize winning novelist (1955) Halldor Laxness, and now also Icelandic detective novels. I have read most of Laxness's work that has been translated into English, which is but a small portion of his total output. His plays, poems, and essays have not made it to the English-speaking world. But, while there is life, there is also hope.

Most authors' biogra
Kept me up to the break of day. What a bundle of contradictions. Having a hard time connecting with him. Part is political - he was Iceland's own Walter Duranty - part is that throughout his life he preached utopianism despite his many shortcomings: grew up on a farm, the nicest one in his area, but was indisposed to manual labor and so was excused all chores and allowed to read and write all day from an early age; at first wanted to be a priest but couldn't pass entrance test to seminary; went ...more
This is a fine biography of one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Halldor Laxness was a writer of prodigious energy and vitality, creating some of the most engaging and original characters in literature. His mastery in creating an authentic setting, both cultural, historical and emotional, is unmatched.

Like the characters he created, HKL was dynamic. He embraces different beliefs, ideologies and even dogmas at various times of his life, then distances himself from those tenets he once
Hjörtur Jónasson
A very thorough look at Halldor's life and many aspects that were not known before this publication.
Snævar Hreinsson
Excellent book! I picked it up this summer on my visit back to Iceland. I have always been curious to learn more about Halldor Laxness given his unique stature among Icelandic writers.
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Skáldalíf Íslensk bókmenntasaga III Wir sind alle Isländer von Lust und Frust, in der Krise zu sein Úrvalsbók Einars Kárasonar Halldór Laxness: Úrvalsbók

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