About the Author
Johan Bojer (1872-1959)
Born in 1872 near Trondheim in Norway and raised by a foster family, writer Johan Bojer won critical acclaim for his novels exploring the plight of the poor farmers and fishermen of his generation. In 1923, he
journeyed to Litchville, North Dakota, to research the lives of the Norwegian immigrants who settled there in the 1880s. The product of his visit became The Emigrants, originally published in Norwegian. Considered by many to be one of his greatest works, it is a rich study in Bojer's unique humanistic philosophy.
Married to Ellen Lous Lange in 1899, Bojer and his wife had three
children. Famous internationally, especially in France where he lived for
many years, Bojer was a contemporary of Norwegian writers Knut Hamsun and
Sigrid Undset (the author of Kristen Lavransdatter, which is also set in Rissa, near Trondheim). He died of pneumonia on July 3, 1959.
The Emigrants. Century, 1925; rep., University of Nebraska Press, 1978.
Bojer's novel of Norwegian emigrants tells of young villagers who leave the Old World to seek a better life. Their trek takes them to homesteads in LaMoure County, North Dakota, where they find that breaking the sod and surviving blizzards are easier than feeling at home in this new land. Though other of his novels have been translated to English, The Emigrants is the only one still in print.