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Halldor Laxness

Halldor Laxness was born near Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1902. His first novel was published when he was 17. The undisputed master of contemporary Icelandic fiction and one of the most outstanding novelists of the century, Laxness wrote more than 60 books, including novels, short stories, essays, poems, plays, and memoirs. In 1955 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Laxness died in Iceland in 1998.


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The Fish Can Sing
Written by Halldor Laxness, Introduction by Jane Smiley
Vintage | Trade Paperback | February 2008
$15.95/18.95(Canada) | 978-0-307-38605-2 (0-307-38605-8)

The Fish Can Sing is one of Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness’s most beloved novels, a poignant coming-of-age tale marked with his peculiar blend of light irony and dark humor.

The orphan Alfgrimur has spent an idyllic childhood sheltered in the simple turf cottage of a generous and eccentric elderly couple. Alfgrimur... Read more

Iceland's Bell
Written by Halldor Laxness, Translated by Philip Roughton
Vintage | Trade Paperback | October 2003
$16.95/22.95(Canada) | 978-1-4000-3425-3 (1-4000-3425-6)

Sometimes grim, sometimes uproarious, and always captivating, Iceland’s Bell by Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness is at once an updating of the traditional Icelandic saga and a caustic social satire. At the close of the 17th century, Iceland is an oppressed Danish colony, suffering under extreme poverty, famine, and plague. A farmer... Read more

Independent People
Written by Halldor Laxness
Vintage | Trade Paperback | January 1997
$17.00/23.00(Canada) | 978-0-679-76792-3 (0-679-76792-4)

From the Nobel Prize-winning Icelandic author, a magnificent, epic novel—"funny, clever, sardonic and brilliant" (Annie Proulx)—at last available to contemporary American readers.

Set in the early twentieth century, Independent People recalls both Iceland's medieval epics and such classics as Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter. If Bjartur of Summerhouses, the book's protagonist, is an ordinary...

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Paradise Reclaimed
Written by Halldor Laxness
Vintage | Trade Paperback | April 2002
$16.95/19.95(Canada) | 978-0-375-72758-0 (0-375-72758-2)

IAn idealistic Icelandic farmer journeys to Mormon Utah and back in search of paradise in this captivating novel by Nobel Prize—winner Halldor Laxness.
The quixotic hero of this long-lost classic is Steinar of Hlidar, a generous but very poor man who lives peacefully on a tiny farm in nineteenth-century Iceland with his... Read more

Under the Glacier
Written by Halldor Laxness, Translated by Magnus Magnusson
Vintage | Trade Paperback | March 2005
$15.95/18.95(Canada) | 978-1-4000-3441-3 (1-4000-3441-8)

Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness’s Under the Glacier is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, a wryly provocative novel at once earthy and otherworldly. At its outset, the Bishop of Iceland dispatches a young emissary to investigate certain charges against the pastor at Sn?fells Glacier, who, among other things, appears to have given up burying... Read more

World Light
Written by Halldor Laxness
Vintage | Trade Paperback | October 2002
$17.00/23.00(Canada) | 978-0-375-72757-3 (0-375-72757-4)

As an unloved foster child on a farm in rural Iceland, Olaf Karason has only one consolation: the belief that one day he will be a great poet. The indifference and contempt of most of the people around him only reinforces his sense of destiny, for in Iceland poets are as... Read more