Sigrid Undset: Biography

Sigrid Undset

20 maj 1882

Sigrid Undset holds the credit of being one among the three Norwegian Authors who have received the Noble Prize for Literature. It is really unbelievable that Sigrid being the recipient of the Noble Price for Literature did not receive University education due to the crisis in her family.

The early life of Sigrid gave her varied experiences. Sigrid was born on May 20, 1882 in Kalundborg, Denmark but her family moved to Norway when she was two years old. Sigrid’s childhood was filled with the history of Norway. She gained vast knowledge from her father who was an archaeologist. But her father’s illness troubled the small Sigrid. When Sigrid was 11, she lost her father and her mother was left to handle the family.

Sigrid Undset, being the eldest daughter, had the great responsibility of supporting her mother. She sacrificed her college education and worked in an electrical engineering company for 10 years even before she got married. Sigrid used to spend all her leisure time and holidays in writing. With many years of hard work and sleepless nights, Sigrid’s first novel’s manuscript got its shape when she was 22 years.

The early novels of Sigrid like, ‘Splinter av troldspeilet’ (Images in a Mirror)’ and ‘Jenny’ portrayed the status of women in the lower middle class family. The trilogy, ‘Kristin Lavransdatter’ was considered to be her masterpiece creation; which has been translated into 80 languages. This book is included in the list of most read novels in the world.

Sigrid Undset, who was a great story-teller, has written over 36 books before leaving this material earth on Jun 10, 1949. It is true that people forgot Sigrid for sometime but now after a gap of 70 years, her works have got new life.