Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie (Perennial Classics)
Giants in the Earth (Norwegian: Verdens Grøde) is a novel by Norwegian-American author Ole Edvart Rølvaag. First published in Norway as two books in 1924 and 1925, the author collaborated with Minnesotan Lincoln Colcord on the English translation.
The novel follows a Norwegian family’s struggles as they try to make a new life as pioneers in the Dakota territory. Rølvaag is interested in psychology and the human cost of empire building, at a time when other writers focused on the glamor and romance of the West. The book reflects his personal experiences as a settler as well as the immigrant homesteader experience of his wife’s family. Both the grim realities of pioneering and the gloomy fatalism of the Norse mind are captured in depictions of snow storms, locusts, poverty, hunger, loneliness, homesickness, the difficulty of fitting into a new culture, and the estrangement of immigrant children who grow up in a new land. It is a novel at once palpably European and distinctly American.
Giants in the Earth was turned into an opera by Douglas Moore and Arnold Sundgaard; it won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1951.
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