Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Undset was born in Kalundborg, Denmark, but her family moved to Norway when she was two years old. In 1924, she converted to Catholicism. She fled Norway for the United States in 1940 because of her opposition to the Nazi Germany and the German occupation, but returned after the World War II ended in 1945. Her best-known work is Kristin Lavransdatter, a modernist trilogy about life in Scandinavia in the Middle Ages. The book was set in medieval Norway and was published from 1920 to 1922 in three volumes. Kristin Lavransdatter portrays the life of woman from birth until death.
Undset experimented with modernist tropes such as stream of consciousness in her novel, although the original English translation by Charles Archer excised many of these passages. In 1997, the first volume of Tiina Nunnally's new translation of the work won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in the category of translation. The names of each volume were translated by Archer as The Wreath, The Wife, and The Cross, and by Nunally as The Bridal Wreath, The Mistress of Husaby, and The Cross.
Undset died in Lillehammer.
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