Norwegian author, 1859-1952
Knut Hamsun is one of the great writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and one of the most influential European novelists of the last 150 years. In 1920, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Hamsun's work was widely admired in the first half of the twentieth century, with such writers as Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse and Henry Miller proclaiming his importance. Isaac Bashevis Singer goes so far as to claim that "the whole modern school of fiction in the twentieth century stems from Hamsun."
In Mysteries, Pan and Hunger, Hamsun created a new type of literary hero: the alienated loner.
During the Second World War, Hamsun was a supporter of Hitler and the Norwegian Nazi Party. Because of this, he was charged with treason at the war's end. As with other writers who supported the Axis powers -- Ezra Pound, for example -- Hamsun's work has had a difficult time regaining the prominence it enjoyed before the war.
The following novels and short story collections have been translated into English: