(1882 - 1949)
Born in Denmark in 1882 and raised in Norway, Sigrid Undset abandoned formal schooling at a young age and took work as a secretary. “It’s an artist that I want to be,” she wrote at nineteen, “a woman artist, and not a pen-wielding lady,” but an influential editor warned her away from trying historical novels. “You have no talent for it,” he said. Undset published the first volume of her fourteenth-century epic, Kristin Lavransdatter, in 1920; she won the Nobel Prize in Literature eight years later.