Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly SUMMER 1989 .Copyright 1989 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska—Lincoln.


This welcome addition to the Western Writers Series differs from other studies on Rolvaag because it attempts to place him within the broader context of American literature rather than strictly within ethnic or geographic boundaries. Moseley argues that Rölvaag, like many American authors before him, successfully combines elements of realism, naturalism, and myth not only to reveal the inherent contradictions in the frontier experience but also to examine universal themes such as the conflict between Old World tradition and New World individuality. The result is a convincing, perceptive, and reliable introduction to Rolvaag's fiction, useful to all students of American literature.