Brian FitzGibbon

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Hotel Silence by Auđur Ava Ólafsdóttir (transl. Brian Fitzgibbon): Life lessons

A few years ago, I read Auđur Ava Ólafsdóttir’s slightly wacky, Murikamiesque Butterflies in November which I enjoyed very much. Her new novel, Hotel Silence, is a much quieter, more conventional piece of fiction which follows a heartbroken man who’s bought a one-way ticket from his Icelandic home to a country devastated by war and …

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The Woman at 1,000 Degrees by Hallgrímur Helgason (transl. Brian Fitzgibbon): You couldn’t make it up

Sometimes books arrive with stories about how they came to be written which are almost as fascinating as what’s inside them. Hallgrímur Helgason’s The Woman at 1,000 Degrees grew out of a canvassing phone call he made on behalf of his partner, a candidate in Iceland’s municipal elections. The third name on his list turned …

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Books to Look Out for in February 2018: Part One

February’s shaping up quite nicely with lots of new titles and paperbacks to ease us through those dark, dank days and long nights here in the Northern Hemisphere. I’ll begin with Hallgrímur Helgason’s The Woman at 1000 Degrees whose eighty-year-old narrator lives alone in a garage, laptop and hand grenade at the ready. Herra recounts …

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Butterflies in November by Auđur Ava Ólafsdóttir (transl. Brian Fitzgibbon): An Icelandic tale with a touch of Murakami

This is my fourth literary trip to Iceland this year – Hannah Kent’s impressive debut Burial Rites, Sarah Moss’s Names for the Sea and Michel Rostain’s novel/memoir The Son all took me there in one way or another and now Auđur Ava Ólafsdóttir’s quirky novel Butterflies in November. It opens with the killing of a …

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