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Jenny [Paperback]

By Sigrid Undset & Tiina Nunnally (Translator)
Our Price $ 16.99  
Retail Value $ 19.99  
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Item Number 441380  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   330
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 1998
Publisher   Zoland Books
ISBN  158642050X  
EAN  9781586420505  

Availability  4 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 11:55.
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Item Description...
When Jenny was published in 1911, Undset found herself called immoral -- "this is a side of the free, artistic life that the vast majority of citizens would rather not know." The novel tells the story of Jenny Winge, a talented Norwegian painter who goes to Rome to seek artistic inspiration but ultimately betrays her own ambitions and ideals. After falling into an affair with the married father of a would-be suitor, Jenny has a baby out-of- wedlock and decides to raise the child on her own. Undset' s portrayal of a woman struggling toward independence and fulfillment is written with an unflinching, clear-eyed honesty that renders her story as compelling today as it was nearly a century ago.
This new translation by Tiina Nunnally captures the fresh, vivid style of Undset's writing and restores passages omitted from the only previous edition to appear in English, which was published in 1921. Most famous for her later, historical fiction set in Catholic, medieval Scandinavia, Undset stands revealed with Jenny, her first major novel, as an unsparing, compassionate, magnificent realist, the creator of works that are at once thoroughly modern and of enduring interest.

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More About Sigrid Undset & Tiina Nunnally

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Sigrid Undset (1882-1949) was born in Denmark, the eldest daughter of a Norwegian father and a Danish mother. Two years after her birth, the family moved to Oslo, where her father, a distinguished archaeologist, taught at the university. Her father's interest in the past had a tremendous influence on Undset. She was particularly entranced by the dramatic Old Norse sagas she read as a child, later declaring that her exposure to them marked "the most important turning point in my life."

Undset's first published works the novel Mrs. Marta Oulie (1907) and a short-story collection The Happy Age (1908) were set in contemporary times and achieved both critical and popular success. With her reputation as a writer well-established, Undset had the freedom to explore the world that had first fired her imagination, and in Gunnar's Daughter (1909) she drew upon her knowledge of Norway's history and legends, including the Icelandic Sagas, to recreate medieval life with compelling immediacy. In 1912 Undset married the painter Anders Castus Svarstad and over the next ten years faced the formidable challenge of raising three stepchildren and her own three off-spring with little financial or emotional support from her husband. Eventually, she and her children moved from Oslo to Lillehammer, and her marriage was annulled in 1924, when Undset converted to Catholicism.

Although Undset wrote more modern novels, a collection of essays on feminism, as well as numerous book reviews and newspaper articles, her fascination with the Middle Ages never ebbed, and in 1920 she published The Wreath, the first volume of her most famous work, Kristin Lavransdatter. The next two volumes quickly followed The Wife in 1921, and The Cross in 1922. The trilogy earned Undset worldwide acclaim, and her second great medieval epic the four-volume The Master of Hestviken (1925-1927) confirmed her place as one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. In 1928, at the age of 46, she received the Nobel Prize for Literature, only the third woman to be so honored.

Undset went on to publish more novels including the autobiographical The Longest Years and several collections of essays during the 1930s. As the Germans advanced through Norway in 1940, Undset, an outspoken critic of Nazism, fled the country and eventually settled in Brooklyn, New York. She returned to her homeland in 1945, and two years later she was awarded Norway's highest honor for her "distinguished literary work and for service to her country." The years of exile, however, had taken a great toll on her, and she died of a stroke on June 10, 1949."

Sigrid Undset was born in 1882 and died in 1949.

Sigrid Undset has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Kristin Lavransdatter (Penguin)
  2. Kristin Lavransdatter (Vintage)
  3. Penguin Classics
  4. Penguin Twentieth Century Classics

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics   [48700  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary   [246863  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Early Undset novel  Jul 13, 2003
Later, Sigrid Undset would become a peer of Dostoevsky -- see Mitzi Brunsdale's comments on Undset's magnificent quartet, The Master of Hestviken, in her 1988 study. But Undset's early novel Jenny shows the Norwegian Nobel Prize winner as the peer of Turgenev. Jenny is worthy of comparison with something like Turgenev's "First Love" as a tale of the loss of youth and of eros (present or absent), but from the point of view of a woman who is not in love, rather than the point of view of the man who is in love. There is a suggestion, too, of Turgenev's characteristic interest in cultured, somewhat amoral, and vaguely political artist-poet types who have left their northern homelands (for Turgenev, Russia; for Undset, Norway) for southern Europe.

Emphatically Jenny is not to be thought of as a Turgenev imitation, though. For one thing, Undset's novel deals -- in some of its best pages -- with its heroine's maternal yearnings and grief, something one wouldn't look for in Turgenev. The Russian had a somewhat effeminate fondness for poetic melancholy (amusing satirized by Dostoevsky in Demons); in Jenny, "might have been" hurts people more.

There are flat patches of descriptive writing -- here, she is no rival of the Turgenev who wrote the lovely outdoors anecdote "Bezhin Meadow" -- and one must admit that one could become impatient with these rootless would-be artists, as one was meant to, I suppose. In later works, Undset achieved a greater synthesis of romanticism and stern, classical truthfulness.


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