Knut Pedersen Hamsun was born in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway on August 4, 1859 and grew up in poverty in Hamarï¿½y. At the age of 17, he became an apprentice to a ropemaker and also began to dabble in writing. This eventually became his full-time career. He wrote numerous books during his lifetime including The Intellectual Life of Modern America, Hunger, and Pan. In 1920, his 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. He died on February 19, 1952. A 15-volume compilation of his complete works was published posthumously in 1954.
Robert Ferguson is a psychologist and executive coach who has provided consulting, conflict resolution, mediation and leadership training to organizations including Credit Suisse USA, Merrill Lynch, Ahlstrom, Kennametal, KBI Biopharma and Aegon.