Knut Pedersen Hamsun was born in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway on August 4, 1859 and grew up in poverty in Hamarøy. At the age of 17, Hamsun became an apprentice to a ropemaker and also began to dabble in writing. This eventually became his full-time career. The author of the books The Intellectual Life of Modern America, Hunger, and Pan, Hamsun is considered one of the most influential European novelists of the last 100 years. In 1920, Hamsun's novel Growth of the Soil, a book describing the attraction and honesty of working with the land, won the Nobel Prize in Literature. As a supporter of Hitler and the Nazi Occupation of Norway during World War II, Hamsun was charged with treason for his affiliation with the party after the war ended. His property was seized, he was placed under psychiatric observation, and his last years were spent in poverty. Hamsun died on February 19, 1952. A 15-volume compilation of his complete works was published posthumously in 1954.