The Islander: A Biography of Halldor Laxness

The Islander: A Biography of Halldor Laxness

by Halldor Gudmundsson
     
 

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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Laxness is a writer of the first degree, a writer I dreamed of coming close to."  —Boris Pasternak

"To read him is to discover an extra tastebud. He creates a world that belongs in another dimension, like the landscape of his country—familiar, strange, seen as in a dream. It is an endearing and unforgettable voice, and we must tip our hats to Guomundsson for setting it in context."  —Daily Telegraph

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781847242846
Publisher:
Quercus
Publication date:
08/01/2008
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

Meet the Author


Halldór Guðmundsson is the chairman of the board of Iceland's premier publishing house. He has written extensively about Iceland’s literature and its history. Philip Roughton is the translator of Laxness's novels The Great Weaver from Kashmir and Iceland's Bell.

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