Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie (Perennial Classics)

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"The fullest, finest, and most powerful novel that has been written about pioneer life in America." — The Nation

Ole Edvart Rølvaag's classic Norweigian-American immigration novel.

Giants in the Earth follows a Norwegian pioneer family's struggles with the land and the elements of the Dakota Territory as they try to make a new life in America. The book is based partly on Rølvaag's personal experiences as a settler, and on the experiences of his wife’s family who had been immigrant homesteaders. The novel depicts snow storms, locusts, poverty, hunger, loneliness, homesickness, the difficulty of fitting into a new culture, and the estrangement of immigrant children who grow up in a new land.

Giants in the Earth was turned into an opera by Douglas Moore and Arnold Sundgaard; it won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1951.

3 comments on “Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie (Perennial Classics)”

  1. I thought this was one of the most excellent novels I've read in a long while I thought this was one of the most excellent novels I've read in a long while. It starts off slow, but it's clear from the very beginning that this will be a tragedy in line and based on the same format as the great Greek tragedies. They chose a lot of land with an Indian burial mound on it. Those circular life-death-rebirth themes run throughout the book. And Rolvaag does an exquisite job of psychologically portraying the characters. He entwined Norse mythology with Christian religion and...

  2. Pioneer hardships during land grant times in the 1860-1870s South Dakota. Written in the early 1900s for Norwegian audience this fictional account of the experience of newly migrated Norwegians to the prairies of South Dakota seems an accurate presentation of the many hardships indured by those immigrants as they established their homestead. It also has more than a sprinkling of religious extremism which influenced the settlers in, what I would consider negative ways. That religiosity resulted in a very sad ending to the book. I liked the book because it did a great...

  3. I am so glad to have gotten it I read the book in high school and never got it out of my mind. I ordered it from Amazon but received instead a book about dinosaurs, Giants ON the Earth! Then ordered, carefully, and got the correct paperback but the print was so small that I couldn’t read It! Finally I ordered it through inter library loan. WHEW! I am so glad to have gotten it. Now I’m going to read the next 2, through the library.You will never be disappointed. This is a wonderful historic novel. It took me 50 years...

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