Rølvaag, Ole Edvart (ōˈlə ĕdˈvärt rölˈvôkh) [key], 1876–1931, Norwegian-American novelist, b. Helgeland, Norway, grad. St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., 1905. He emigrated to the United States in 1896 and was head of the department of Norwegian at St. Olaf from 1906 to 1931. He is most famous for the trilogy consisting of the novels Giants in the Earth (1927), Peder Victorius (1929), and Their Father's God (1931); powerful and realistic, these novels treat the life of Norwegian pioneers in the American Northwest, emphasizing both their physical and psychological struggles with the new land. Rølvaag's other novels include Pure Gold (1930) and The Book of Longing (1933). He wrote all his novels in Norwegian and assisted in their translation into English.
See study by P. Reigstad (1972).