Rölvaag, O. E.

Rölvaag (or Roelvaag), O. E. (Ole Edvart) (Paal Moerck, pen name)

(1876–1931) writer; born on the Island of Donna, Helgeland, Norway. He gave up his life as a fisherman and emigrated to America (1896) to become a farmhand in South Dakota. He studied at Augusta College, a preparatory school in South Dakota, and graduated from St. Olaf College (Minn.) (1905). After graduate work at the University of Oslo, Norway, he became a professor of Norwegian language and literature at St. Olaf (1907–31). He wrote his work in Norwegian, but helped with the English translations. He is best known for his semiautobiographical novels of Norwegian immigrant pioneers in the U.S.A., such as Giants of the Earth (1927), the first of a triology on this theme.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.