Book - 1970
Average Rating:
Rate this:

A true classic of modern literature that has been described as "one of the most disturbing novels in existence" ( Time Out ), Hunger is the story of a Norwegian artist who wanders the streets, struggling on the edge of starvation. As hunger overtakes him, he slides inexorably into paranoia and despair. The descent into madness is recounted by the unnamed narrator in increasingly urgent and disjointed prose, as he loses his grip on reality.

Arising from Hamsun's belief that literature ought to be about the mysterious workings of the human mind -- an attempt, he wrote, to describe "the whisper of the blood and the pleading of the bone marrow" -- Hunger is a landmark work that pointed the way toward a new kind of novel.

"The whole modern school of fiction in the twentieth century stems from Hamsun. They were all Hamsun's disciples: Thomas Mann and Arthur Schnitzler . . . and even such American writers are Fitzgerald and Hemingway." --Isaac Bashevis Singer

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, c1970
ISBN: 9780374531102
Branch Call Number: HAMSUN
Characteristics: xvii, 242 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Bly, Robert


From Library Staff

Knut Hamsun won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1920. He was called the father of modern literature by Isaac Bashevis Singer but has often been criticized for his far right views (he supported the Norwegian Nazi puppet government during the Second World War). Hunger was published in 1890. The ... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Oct 02, 2017

Hunger is required reading for serious students of all ages because it is a seminal book of the twentieth century even though it was written in the 1880s by the youthful visionary Hamsun at the start of his career. His masterful orchestration of increasingly vivid visceral descriptions of a young writer's struggle to earn enough to eat and sleep like a regular member of society are unforgettable. I strongly urge anyone to spend time with this masterpiece in order to understand the transition from older forms of the novel into modern literature. Hamsun invented the use of highly subjective interior narrative to depict both romantic stress and the complexity of self-knowledge gained through young people's attempts to negotiate with the opposite sex.

Aug 14, 2017

Fantastic book- completely feverish and haunting.

Jan 08, 2015

This is the wrong book!

MarioEnriqueRiosPinot Sep 25, 2013

I just finished this novel and it...I hesitate ti say enjoyable because of the suffering that goes on. Yet I did not feel brutalized by reading about his suffering. SPOILER, late alert. To offer a kindness to someone that is in need can be detrimental to their...self, honor, self worth. The other novel by Hamsun, was like the Good Earth but more earthy. He was awarded the Noble Prize. Hamsun later was sympathetic to the NAZI's.

Mar 29, 2012

Really not my sort of book

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SL

To Top