Isaac Bashevis Singer famously called Knut Hamsun the father of modern literature.
One of the most important and controversial writers of the 20th century, Knut Hamsun made literary history with the publication in 1890 of Hunger, a devastating autobiographical novel recounting the abject poverty and despair of a young writer struggling to achieve self-discovery and its ultimate artistic expression.
With 1890's Hunger, Hamsun unleashed the first in a series of novels that anticipated everything from the terrifying absurdities of Kafka to Charles Bukowski's autobiographical explorations.
Hunger explores the dynamics of alienation and obsession, painting an unforgettable portrait of a man driven by forces beyond his control to the edge of self-destruction.
Hamsun’s narrator, a writer, is an artful cataloguer of his own psychological states—like Hamsun himself, a subversive, generational voice.
Hunger is not just about being a writer. It's also about the process by which we enter adult life: those devastating moments when we realize we must work to live unless we’re wealthy, and adopt social masks to conceal our truest responses to events around us.
KNUT HAMSUN (1859–1952) was a Norwegian writer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. He published more than 20 novels, a collection of poetry, short stories, essays and plays and influenced many of the major 20th-century writers who followed him, including Kafka, Joyce and Henry Miller. His most famous works are Mysteries, Pan, Victoria, and Hunger.