The distinguished critic and translator Sverre Lyngstad was born in Norway in 1922. He studied English, History, Comparative Literature and Philosophy at the University of Oslo, the University of Washington, Seattle, and New York University. He taught at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. Hunger (1996), the first of his many translations of Knut Hamsun in English established him as sensitive to language and dialect, as well as meticulously faithful to the original text while recreating all its poetic qualities.
More were to follow: Pan (1998), On Overgrown Paths (1999), Mysteries (2001), The Last Joy (2003), and Growth of the Soil (2007). He also translated a number of other Norwegian classics; Arne Garborg’s Weary Men (1999); and Sigurd Hoel’s Meeting at the Milestone (2002) as well as a range of outstanding modern writers, like Faldbakken, Solstad, B. Haff. His reflections on them were drawn together in Jonas Lie (1977), Sigurd Hoel’s Fiction (1984), and Knut Hamsun, Novelist: A Critical Assessment (2005).
Dr. Lyngstad was the recipient of several grants, prizes and awards, and has been honored by the King of Norway with the St. Olav Medal and the Knight’s Cross First Class, of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit. He died in Port Jefferson, N.Y. in May 2011.