Although known primarily as a novelist, Alfred Hauge (HOW-geh) also produced works of short prose, poetry, drama, and nonfiction. Much of his short prose and nonfiction originally appeared in the daily newspaper Stavanger aftenblad, where he was employed as a cultural correspondent for more than thirty years. In conjunction with the research for his trilogy about Cleng Peerson, the father of Norwegian emigration to the United States, he traced the movement of immigrants across the American continent. Two books, Gå vest—(1963; go west) and Gjennom Amerika i emigrantspor (1975; through America in the footsteps of the emigrants), resulted from these travels. Later came Sannferdig saga om Cleng Peerson (1982; The True Saga of Cleng Peerson, 1982), which is a factual presentation of the results of Hauge’s research and which was published by the Norwegian Society of Texas on the bicentennial of Peerson’s birth on May 17, 1782. Two other important volumes of nonfiction are Hauge’s autobiographical Barndom (1975; childhood) and Ungdom (1977; youth).
Hauge also used the Cleng Peerson material dramatically in his play Cleng Peerson: Utvandring (1968; Cleng Peerson: emigration), but on the whole he gave relatively little attention to drama. Poetry was more important to him; his first collection, titled Skyer i drift over vårgrønt land (1945; clouds drifting over land green in spring), sold well but was not a critical success. In 1970 came Det evige sekund (the eternal second), the third volume in Hauge’s hitherto unfinished magnum opus, the Utstein Monastery cycle.