Sigrid Undset

Flag of Norway.svgIf you followed the Sochi Olympics you probably know that Norway was overrepresented in so far as winning medals go. They came in third place with 26 medals, 11 gold. Not bad for a country with a population of a little over 5 million people.

But the Norwegians need not only be proud of their athletes but also of their Nobel Laureates for Literature. Three in all. One woman: Sigrid Undset.

Born the same year as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce (1882)  Sigrid Undset, at the age of 25,  made her literary debut with a short, realistic novel on adultery. It created a stir, and she found herself ranked as a promising young author in Norway. Its English translation is out this month (March 2014). 

“I have been unfaithful to my husband” is the novel’s opening sentence. Written in diary form the novel documents the inner life of a young woman disappointed by the conventions of marriage and longing for passion. Continue reading

Will Self

Will Self’s writing is diverse. Dystopian (The Book of Dave), Stream of Consciousness – think James Joyce’s Ulysses (Umbrella), and satire (Great Apes).

He has won many awards, has been short listed for the Man Booker prize for Umbrella (2012)  and the New York Times Notable Book of the Year for his collection of short stories Grey Area ( 1997).

Consider yourself in good company if, like Will Self, you like to use post it slips to keep track of your writing. If, like Will Self, your creativity thrives in a cluttered environment. 

Will Self

Photographer: Eamonn McCabe

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