The Longest Years
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By Sigrid Undset
The Longest Years is a vivid rendering of childhood memories into an autobiographical novel. Through the young Norwegian girl Ingvild, Undset conveys the veritable cornucopia of original experiences in the life of a child: the sights, sounds, and smells; the beginnings of thought and the acute pangs of suffering; and the pure privilege of innocence.
First published in 1935, The Longest Years was hailed by critics as “forthright and untinted…honest and real,” “exquisite…perhaps the finest thing Undset has written since the inimitable Kristin Lavransdatter.” To this day, the novel remains undiminished in power as an occasion to see the world with the clear-eyed vision of a child.
Sigrid Undset (1882–1949) was a Norwegian novelist and essayist and a convert to Catholicism. Her work is renowned for its realism and poignancy, and she is best known for her three-volume novel Kristin Lavransdatter. In 1928, Undset was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.