Halldor Kiljan Laxness

(Halldor Gudjonsson)
novelist, poet, playwright
Born: 4/23/1902
Birthplace: Rekjavik, Iceland

Awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1955, Laxness was a major figure in 20th-century Icelandic literature, drawing inspiration from his country's sagas and folklore. Influenced in turn by Christianity, socialism, and communism, his work often sparked controversy. He is most well known for his multi-volume novels depicting life in an Icelandic fishing village: Salka Valka (1932; trans. 1936), Independent People (1934–35; trans. 1945–46), and World Light (1937–40; trans 1969).

Died: 2/8/1998