Halldór Laxness won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1955. During his life, which spanned nearly the entire century, he not only wrote 60 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 a defender of communism until the 1960s. But his political leanings never dominated his work. His travels also included time in the movie business in Hollywood. Laxness continually sought to divulge the world of beauty that lurks beneath the everyday, ensuring his artistry remained a sanctuary of humanism and reflection. In this biography, Guðmundsson has been granted access to unique material by Laxness’ family. As a result, the interrelationships between Laxness’ personal life, his politics, and his career are meticulously examined. What emerges is a grand description of a fascinating personality in which the manifold conflicts of the 20th century are mirrored.