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  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409000570
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 576

Independent People




A magnificent Icelandic epic by the 'Tolstoy of the North'

A huge, humane revelation of a novel is set in rural Iceland in the early twentieth century, written by the Nobel prize-winner dubbed the 'Tolstoy of the North'. A magnificent portrait of the eerie Icelandic landscape and a man's dogged struggle for independence.

'There are good books and there are great books and there may be a book that is something still more: it is the book of your life' New York Review of Books

Bjartus is a sheep farmer determined to eke a living from a blighted patch of land. Nothing, not merciless weather, nor the First World War, nor his family will come between him and his goal of financial independence. Only Asta Solillja, the child he brings up as his daughter, can pierce his stubborn heart. As she grows up, keen to make her own way in the world, Bjartus' obstinacy threatens to estrange them forever.

  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409000570
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 576

About the author

Halldor Laxness

Halldór Laxness (Author)
Halldór Laxness (1908 - 98) was born near Reykjavik, Iceland. His first novel was published when he was seventeen. The undisputed master of contemporary Icelandic fiction and one of the outstanding novelists of the twentieth-century, he wrote more than sixty books. Laxness was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.

Also by Halldor Laxness

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Praise for Independent People

I love this book. It is an unfolding wonder of artistic vision and skill - one of the best books of the 20th century. I can't imagine any greater delight than coming to Independent People for the first time

Jane Smiley

Laxness is a poet who writes to the edge of the pages, a visionary who allows a plot: he takes a Tolstoyan overview, he weaves in an Evelyn Waugh-like humour: It is not possible to be unimpressed

Fay Weldon on her 'Book of the Century', Daily Telegraph

Marvellously fluent and unaffected... one of the most original and skilfully written novels of the 20th century

Times Literary Supplement

There are good books and there are great books and there may be a book that is something still more: it is the book of your life

New York Review of Books

Do yourself a favour and read Independent People. Opening this book is like opening a chest of treasures. Reading this book is like taking the treasures out and appreciating them, savouring them, one by one, sentence by sentence. This is the kind of novel that reminds you how glad you are that you learned to read in the first place

Chicago Tribune

Laxness is a poet who writes to the edge of the pages, a visionary who allows a plot: he takes a Tolstoyan overview, he weaves in an Evelyn Waugh-like humour: It is not possible to be unimpressed

Daily Telegraph

To read him is to discover an extra tastebud. He creates a world that belongs in another dimension, like the landscape of his country - familiar, strange, seen as in a dream... an endearing and unforgettable voice

Daily Telegraph

Marvellously fluent and unaffected...one of the most original and skilfully written novels of the 20th century.

Carolyne Larrington, T.L.S

It moved me immensely

Barbara Kingsolver

A masterpiece

David Mitchell

I love this book. It is an unfolding wonder of artistic vision and skill - one of the best books of the 20th century. I can't imagine any greater delight than coming to Independent People for the first time

Jane Smiley

Laxness is a poet who writes to the edge of the pages, a visionary who allows a plot: he takes a Tolstoyan overview, he weaves in an Evelyn Waugh-like humour: It is not possible to be unimpressed

Fay Weldon on her 'Book of the Century', Daily Telegraph

Marvellously fluent and unaffected... one of the most original and skilfully written novels of the 20th century

Times Literary Supplement

There are good books and there are great books and there may be a book that is something still more: it is the book of your life

New York Review of Books

Do yourself a favour and read Independent People. Opening this book is like opening a chest of treasures. Reading this book is like taking the treasures out and appreciating them, savouring them, one by one, sentence by sentence. This is the kind of novel that reminds you how glad you are that you learned to read in the first place

Chicago Tribune

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