Norway’s Native Children

By Julie Hatfield

In preparing for a cruise along the coast of Norway last summer, I asked the cruise ship staff of the MS Nordlys, part of the venerable Hurtigruten shipping line, for a reading list.  I didn't remember any required reading of Norwegian writers in all my school days, so I didn't expect much in the way of literary inspiration.

Of course I had heard of Henrik Ibsen, the playwright from Oslo, and Edvard Grieg, the musician from Bergen who put Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt” to music.  But Knut Hamsun?  Sigrid Undset?  Per Petterson? Who were these unknowns?

Surprising to me, both Ha...

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