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Boat of Longing
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Boat of Longing

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Chronicles the experiences of a sensitive young Norwegian immigrant to Minnesota and deals with the human cost of immigration. The book sharply contrasts a poetic vision of the homeland with the stark reality of life among the poor in Minneapolis in the 1910s.
Paperback, 319 pages
Published May 15th 1985 by Minnesota Historical Society Press (first published January 2nd 1974)
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Diane Barnes
This book reads like a Norse fairy tale, like a prose poem to the immigrant experience of America. The confusion and lonliness of young Nils Vaag, an only child who seeks the promise of a better life, is keenly felt as he walks the streets of Minneapolis. He believed the stories of streets paved in gold, unlimited opportunities, untold riches to be had, and decided to see for himself what it was all about.
He left behind a broken-hearted mother and father who lived for his letters and longed for
O.E. Rolvaag has spoiled me. I read Giants in the Earth and now The Boat of Longing. Rolvaag's writing is just so incredibly rich, compelling, poetic and beautiful, that so many books pale in comparison. His titles are apt to him....He is a Giant and he keeps you Longing for more.
This is a story of a young Norwegian immigrant that comes to America seeking his fortune. Rolvaag, once again, weaves a delicious tale full of imagery, emotion, folklore, human relationships and love. Love for one's ho
A mystical, poetic book of tragic longing. This novel tells the story of a young Norwegian immigrant and the family he leaves behind. Rolvaag's telling of this immigrant story, first published in 1933, surpasses many of the immigrant stories we see in today's literature.
Dark. Boat of Longing symbolizes death and is seen mystically and various times throughout the book. Begins in Norway and continues in Minneapolis in the 1800's. It reminds me of signs of death, i.e., seeing friends and family who have already died. Those dying see and reach for the dead. Throughout the book Rolvaag compares the idealized life Norwegians thought they would find in America and the reality of daily life. Note: Rolvaag was a professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.
This is definitely the best of the five or so books I've read about Scandinavian immigration to the upper midwest. It could be because the urban setting matches my own experience better, but I also appreciated the mythological themes, Rolvaag's complex characterization, and impressionistic nature scenes (although these last can be overwrought and oblique sometimes).
Jean Carlton
I loved this book. A look at the experience of the parents whose children head to America....the pain, the longing. The experiences of both sides of the situation. It tugged at my heart. Great writing - poignant story.
Marie  Ash-Evans
Another brilliant book by author/professor/immigrant Ole Rolvaag. I highly recommend this book as I do all of his books.
Per O
The saddest book I have read and the most beautiful.
Tragic beauty.
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Ole Edvart Rølvaag was born in the family's cottage in a small fishing village on the island of Dønna, in the far southern district of Nordland county, Norway. Dønna, one of the largest islands on the northern coast of Norway, is situated about five miles from the Arctic Circle. He was born with the name Ole Edvart Pedersen, one of seven children of Peder Benjamin Jakobsen and Ellerine Pedersdatte ...more
More about O.E. Rølvaag...
Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie Peder Victorious: A Tale of the Pioneers Twenty Years Later Their Fathers' God The Third Life of Per Smevik When the Wind Is in the South and Other Stories

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