For today’s celebration of Syttende Mai (Seventeenth May), also called Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day), I wanted to make you aware of a rare bit of Norwegian American writing.
Ole Edvart Rølvaag was an immigrant from Norway who wrote of the Norwegian American immigrant experience in the early 20th century. We have his most famous book, Giants in the Earth (DB 22285), a novel of Norwegian immigrant homesteaders in the Dakota Territory. Spoiler: it is very grim but fascinating…as in all good Scandinavian writings, the protagonist ends up freezing to death while trudging through the bleak unforgiving landscape.
He’s not only a fine novelist, scholar, and educator, he also looks like my grandfather and uncles.
Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie
Ole Edvart Rølvaag
A realistic novel about the American pioneer experience. To Per Hansa, the struggle to tame the Dakota prairie means life and freedom. But for his beloved wife, their isolated existence is a nightmare of loneliness, terror, and despair.
Ed. note: Today’s guest post is written by LBPH’s own Don Ciccone, Manager LBPH Operations.