In 2009 to mark the 150th anniversary of Knut Hamsun’s birth, Souvenir Press republished eight books and commissioned a new translation of a ninth by Hamsun, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.
The 150th anniversary of Hamsun’s birth was celebrated in Norway by schools, universities, theatres and libraries, including the inauguration of a Knut Hamsun Centre in the town of Hamaroy (where Hamsun grew up), and was an extraordinary national celebration of a writer whose work was for some time overshadowed by the scandal of his support for the Nazis in World War Two. Recently, though, there has been a revival of interest in Hamsun’s work, including Growth of the Soil, his novel that was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920.
All nine Knut Hamsun books were published in beautiful uniform editions all featuring cover art work by another famous Norwegian, Edvard Munch. This year the National Museum in Norway, together with the Munch Museum, are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Munch’s birth with an exhibition of his work that will also be shown in cinemas across the world. But if you can’t get to the exhibition or any of the screenings, and you don’t have a spare $120m (which is how much Munch’s iconic painting The Scream sold for last year), then this is your chance to take home some Munch artwork and discover one of Norway’s greatest writers.
“The most outstanding Norwegian writer since Ibsen.” – Times Literary Supplement
“The whole modern school of fiction in the twentieth century stems from Hamsun” – Isaac Bashevis Singer
“Thanks to Souvenir, readers can now reclaim extraordinary works such as the eerie Mysteries and the epic Growth of the Soil… an unsettling master of modern fiction.” – The Independent