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Marta Oulie

A Novel of Betrayal

Sigrid Undset

Publication Year: 2014

“I have been unfaithful to my husband.” Marta Oulie’s opening line scandalized Norwegian readers in 1907. And yet, Sigrid Undset had a gift for depicting modern women “sympathetically but with merciless truthfulness,” as the Swedish Academy noted in awarding her the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. At the time she was one of the youngest recipients and only the third woman so honored. It was Undset’s honest story of a young woman’s love life—“the immoral kind,” as she herself bluntly put it—that made her first novel an instant sensation in Norway.

Marta Oulie, written in the form of a diary, intimately documents the inner life of a young woman disappointed and constrained by the conventions of marriage as she longs for an all-consuming passion. Set in Kristiania (now Oslo) at the beginning of the twentieth century, Undset’s book is an incomparable psychological portrait of a woman whose destiny is defined by the changing mores of her day—as she descends, inevitably, into an ever-darker reckoning. Remarkably, though Undset’s other works have attracted generations of readers, Marta Oulie has never before appeared in English translation. Tiina Nunnally, whose award-winning translation of Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter captured the author’s beautifully clear style, conveys the voice of Marta Oulie with all the stark poignancy of the original Norwegian.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi

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Jane Smiley

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pp. vii-2

When she began her debut novella, Fru Marta Oulie, in the summer of 1906, Sigrid Undset had just turned twenty-four. She had submitted a previous historical work to a prominent publisher in Denmark and been rejected, so she took up a...

Part I

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pp. 3-82

Part II

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pp. 83-96

Part III

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pp. 97-114

E-ISBN-13: 9781452942407
E-ISBN-10: 1452942404
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816692521

Page Count: 128
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 873806137
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Marta Oulie

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Subject Headings

  • Europe -- History -- Fiction.
  • Historical fiction. -- gsafd.
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