Halldór Laxness

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Halldór Kiljan Laxness [ˈhaltour ˈcʰɪljan ˈlaxsnɛs]  ( listen) (born Halldór Guðjónsson) (April 23, 1902—February 8, 1998) was a twentieth-century Icelandic novelist, poet, and essayist; author of Independent People, The Atom Station, and Iceland's Bell. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955.


Early life

Laxness was born under the name Halldór Guðjónsson (following the tradition of Icelandic patronymics) in Reykjavik in 1902, the son of Guðjón Helgason and Sigríður Halldórsdóttir. After spending his early years in Reykjavik, he moved with his family in 1905 to Laxnes near Mosfellsbær, a more rural area just north of the capital. He soon started to read books and write stories. At the age of 14 his first article was published in the newspaper Morgunblaðið under the name "H.G." his first book,, the novel "Child of Nature" was written when he was 17. He traveled widely, living on the European continent after the First World War and visiting Russia during the Stalinist period, America just before the depression, and India under Nehru.

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