Independent People Cover Image
By Halldor Kiljan Laxness, J. A. Thompson (Translator), Brad Leithauser (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780679767923
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 14th, 1997

Event date: 
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 6:30pm
The Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 Tenth Avenue
98122 Seattle

Each month, the Elliott Bay Fiction Book Club reads and discusses the best in contemporary fiction with the occasional classic thrown in for good measure. For the months of November and December, we have selected Halldór Laxness's Independent People, dicussing the first half in November and with the second half discussed in December. "This magnificent novel—which secured for its author the 1955 Novel Prize in Literature—is at last available to contemporary American Readers. Although it is set in the early twentieth century. It recalls both Iceland's medieval epics and such classics as Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter. And if Bjartur of Summerhouses, the book's protagonist, is an ordinary sheep farmer, his flinty determination to achieve independence is genuinely heroic, and at the same time, terrifying and bleakly comic.
Having spent eighteen years in humiliating servitude, Bjartur wants nothing more than to raise his flocks unbeholden to any man. But Bjartur's spirited daughter wants to live unbeholden to him. What ensues is a battle of wills that is by turns harsh and touching, elemental in its emotional intensity and intimate in its homely detail. Vast in scope and deeply rewarding, Independent People is a masterpiece."