In February, the focus of the 2022 Scandinavian Reading Challenge is books that take place in the 1920s. 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 this decade:
- The Prohibition – The sale of distilled spirits was prohibited from 1916 to 1926, and fortified wines were banned from 1917 to 1923; alcohol smuggling from Sweden peaked in 1923 (Sciencenorway.no)
- During the 1920s Norway acquired the islands of Svalbard and Jan Mayen (Britannica); read more about Svalbard History: The Fascinating Tale of Arctic Wilderness
- Inflation and unemployment increased after WWI and during 1920s; by 1927 the unemployment was as high as one-fifth of the workforce (Britannica)
- Knut Hamsun (Norway) won Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920
- Sigrid Undset (Norway) won Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928
Books to consider:
- The Unseen (The Barrøy Chronicles Book 1) by Roy Jacobsen, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw (Historical fiction set in Northern Norway in the 1910s and 1920s)
- The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett (Historical fiction thriller set in Prohibition-era and interwar Norway, 1920s and 1938)
- Alberta and Jacob by Cora Sandel, translated from the Norwegian by Elizabeth Rokkan (Originally published in Norway in 1926)
- Sinners in Summertime by Sigurd Hoel, translated from the Norwegian by Sverre Lyngstad (Originally published in Norway in 1927)
- Childhood (The Copenhagen Trilogy, Book 1) by Tove Ditlevsen, translated from the Danish by Tiina Nunnally (Born in 1917 in a working-class neighborhood in Copenhagen, this is a coming-of-age memoir about pursuing a life and a passion beyond the confines of her upbringing.)
- Havoc by Tom Kristensen, translated from the Danish by Carl Malmberg (Originally published in Denmark 1930)
- The Wreath (Kristin Lavransdatter #1) by Sigrid Undset, translated from the Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally (Trilogy first published 1920-1922; takes place in medieval Norway so not really ideal for this challenge but it’s a prize-winning book of the times.)
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