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A More Contemporary Sigrid Undset

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Mar 07, 2012

If you are a Sigrid Undset fan (and you should be), it is probably because you’ve read one of her great medieval works, either the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy or the Master of Hestviken tetralogy. But this Norwegian novelist and biographer, a winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, was not a medieval but a modern woman, who faced all the dilemmas of the first half of the twentieth century.

For this reason a more modern setting might be of special interest, in which Undset once again explores her characteristic theme of how poor choices often create enormous suffering, while enduring the suffering leads to spiritual growth and hope. Her novel Ida Elisabeth opens in 1930, and deals with a woman who marries her teenage sweetheart, only to realize he is incapable of supporting a family. It is available in a new edition from Ignatius Press.

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