Olav Audunssøn - 
      Sigrid Undset
      Tiina Nunnally

Olav Audunssøn

I. Vows

; Tiina Nunnally (Oversetter)

The initial volume in the Nobel Prize-winning author's tumultuous, epic story of medieval Norway-the first new English translation in nearly a century

As a child, Olav Audunsson is given by his dying father to an old friend, Steinfinn Toresson, who rashly promises to raise the boy as his foster son and eventually marry him to his own daughter, Ingunn. Les mer
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The initial volume in the Nobel Prize-winning author's tumultuous, epic story of medieval Norway-the first new English translation in nearly a century

As a child, Olav Audunsson is given by his dying father to an old friend, Steinfinn Toresson, who rashly promises to raise the boy as his foster son and eventually marry him to his own daughter, Ingunn. The two children, very different in temperament, become both brother and sister and betrothed. In the turbulent thirteenth-century Norway of Sigrid Undset's epic masterpiece, bloodlines and loyalties often supersede law, and the crown and the church vie for power and wealth. Against this background and the complicated relationship between Olav and Ingunn, a series of fateful decisions leads to murder, betrayal, exile, and disgrace. In Vows, the first book in the powerful Olav Audunsson tetralogy, Undset presents a richly imagined world split between pagan codes of retribution and the constraints of Christian piety-all of which threaten to destroy the lives of two young people torn between desires of the heart and the dictates of family and fortune.

As she did when writing her earlier and bestselling epic Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset immersed herself in the legal, religious, and historical documents of medieval Norway to create in Olav Audunsson remarkably authentic and compelling portraits of Norwegian life in the Middle Ages. In this new English edition, renowned Scandinavian translator Tiina Nunnally again captures Undset's fluid prose, conveying in an engaging lyrical style the natural world, complex culture, and fraught emotional territory of Olav and Ingunn's dramatic story.
Forlag: University of Minnesota Press
Innbinding: Paperback
Språk: Engelsk
Sider: 336
ISBN: 9781517910488
Format: 21 x 14 cm

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"Sigrid Undset's gift was to take readers inside the hearts and minds of people who lived and worked, struggled and connived in the fjords, villages, farms, and estates of thirteenth-century Norway. Tiina Nunnally's gift is to bring these characters to today's readers in clear, lyrical prose. Here we have the story of Olav Audunssøn and Ingunn Steinfinnsdatter, betrothed as children and constantly challenged by people who turn their sweet and simple love story into a fraught, twenty-year journey to that final kiss. No one but Undset could have written Olav Audunssøn, and no one but Nunnally could do it justice in translation. Read it—and spend time in the thirteenth century as it really was."—Nicola Griffith, author of Hild

"Tiina Nunnally is that rarest phenomenon: a translator whose translations sound entirely natural, idiomatic, and true. This new translation of the first volume of Sigrid Undset's Olav Audunssøn is a heroic undertaking, which Nunnally has accomplished with her accustomed elegance and flair."—John Banville, author of Mrs. Osmond

"This tetralogy, less known and less beloved than Kristin Lavransdatter, may be Sigrid Undset’s masterwork. Arthur G. Chater’s translation is now nearly a century old. Calculatedly archaic and smoothly florid, it retains the charms of its time and place. This new version by Tiina Nunnally performs Undset in a blunter and terser style which would not be out of place in one of those Norse sagas whose grim ethos lives on in the midbrains of the characters. It is a style entirely in keeping with the bleakness of this story of an honorable man whose loving self-sacrifice calcifies his heart."—William T. Vollmann, author of The Lucky Star



"Undset brings the setting to life with rich descriptions of the natural world, well-captured in Nunnally’s stunning translation. Those interested in Norse history will appreciate this modern classic of Norwegian literature."—Publishers Weekly

"Vows is an unexpected gift in a year that would welcome more of them."—Lit Hub

"Long out of print, the first volume [of Olav Audunssøn] now appears in a captivating new translation by Tiina Nunnally . . . This is an absorbing, psychologically rich tale that promises to grow deeper and more memorable in each successive volume."—Wall Street Journal

"Undset matches the precision and force of her characters’ inner lives—lacerated by indecision, sunk in sorrow or transported by joy—with her evocation of a vanished age and depictions of the life-affirming beauty of nature. This is a novel you wish would never end—and it doesn’t, not yet: The following volumes will be appearing over the next three years."—Star Tribune

"Thirteenth-century Norway is a blend of pagan and Christian. Women have no rights, and the male head of an extended family makes all decisions. It is a world we rarely are invited into, and if you have patience, you will be rewarded."—Pioneer Press 

"Tiina Nunnally’s new translation captures the dark imperatives of a land where clan loyalties and ancient codes of honor have become ensnarled in the struggle between rising powers: the church and the royal court."—Alida Becker, The New York Times Book Review



Translator's Note

Map of the Gudbrandsdal Region

Genealogy and Kinship

Part I. Olav Audunsson Marries

Part II. Ingunn Steinfinnsdatter


List of Holy Days and Canonical Hours
Sigrid Undset (1882-1949) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928, primarily for her epic novels set in Norway during the Middle Ages (the trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter, published in 1920-22, and the tetralogy Olav Audunsson, which followed in 1925-27). She was a prolific writer of contemporary novels, essays, newspaper articles, autobiographical works, and children's stories. During World War II she lived in Brooklyn and wrote passionately about Norway's plight and the grim situation in Europe. She returned to her home, Bjerkebaek, in Lillehammer, Norway, and in 1947 she was awarded Norway's highest honor, the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Olav for her "distinguished literary work and for her service to her country."

Tiina Nunnally is the award-winning translator of many works of Scandinavian literature, including Sigrid Undset's Marta Oulie (Minnesota, 2014) and Kristin Lavransdatter, which was awarded the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club translation prize. She has translated fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, Swede Hollow by Ola Larsmo (Minnesota, 2019), and The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbjornsen and Moe (Minnesota, 2019). In 2013 she was appointed Knight of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for her efforts on behalf of Norwegian literature abroad.