In January, the focus of the 2022 Scandinavian Reading Challenge is books that take place in the 1900/1910s. Find below some highlights from that time period along with book suggestions.
Do you have any Scandinavian books that take place during this time period that you recommend or know of? Leave a comment or email me any suggestions. I’d love to hear them.
Some highlights from these decades (and a little earlier):
- Emigration – Norwegians began leaving rural Norway for North America in 1825, with mass emigration occurring the next 100 years. The majority settled in the American Midwest.
- Hydropower – Producing electricity from rivers and waterfalls became the backbone of the Norwegian power system. Hammerfest, located north of the Arctic Circle, became the first town in Norway with electric street lighting in 1891. Oslo followed in the decade after 1890.
- Peaceful separation of Norway from Sweden – June 7, 1905
- Norway became the second country in Europe after Finland to give women the right to vote – 1913
- World War I (1914-1918) – Norway remained neutral during World War I, but wielded influence through trade and diplomacy.
- Spanish Flu – 1918
- Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (Norway) won Nobel Prize in Literature in 1903.
- Henrik Pontoppidan (Denmark) won Nobel Prize in Literature in 1917 “for his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark”.
The decade in photos:
- Norway in 1900: Living by the Nordfjord (Photo archives from LifeInNorway.net)
- Stunning Photos from Fjord Norway Weddings in 1900 (Photo archives from LifeInNorway.net)
Books to consider:
- Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie by Ole Edvart Rolvaag (Norwegian pioneer life in America)
- The Dala Horse by Lissa Johnston (Middle grade book about Norwegian immigrants in Texas, late 1860s) – available for free with Kindle Unlimited
- Haymaker in Heaven: A Novel by Edvard Hoem, translated from the Norwegian by Tara Chase (Norway, 1874 towards turn of century)
- Norske Fields: A Novel of Southern California’s Norwegian Colony by Anne Schroede (Norwegian immigrants in Southern California, 1880s) – available for free with Kindle Unlimited
- Oleanna: A Novel of Norway in 1905 by Julie K. Rose – available for free with Kindle Unlimited
- The Reindeer Hunters by Lars Mytting (Norway, 1900-1918) – out in English translation by Deborah Dawkin on March 3, 2022 (UK) and October 11, 2022 (US) – I read this in Norwegian and loved it.
- With the Lapps in the High Mountains: A Woman among the Sami, 1907-1908 by Emilie Demant Hatt, translated from the Danish by Barbara Sjoholm (originally published in 1913 in Denmark)
- Little Lord by Johan Borgen, translated from the Norwegian by Janet Garton (Oslo, 1910s)
- The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven: A Novel by Nathaniel Ian Miller (Svalbard, 1910s)
- The Unseen (The Barrøy Chronicles Book 1) by Roy Jacobsen, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw (Northern Norway in the 1910s and 1920s)
- Lucky Per by Henrik Pontoppidan, translated from the Danish by Naomi Lebowitz (originally published in eight volumes between 1898 and 1904, known for his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark)
- The Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun, translated from the Norwegian by Sverre Lyngstad (first published in 1917; won Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920)
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