Icelandic fiction

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And the Wind Sees All by by Guđmundur Andri Thorsson (transl. Björg Árnadóttir and Andrew Cauthery)

Guđmundur Andri Thorsson’s And the Wind Sees All is the third in Peirene’s ‘Home in Exile’ series. I reviewed Soviet Milk here earlier in the year but chickened out of Shadows on the Tundra, billed as Lithuanian survival literature. I’m sure it’s very good, I’ve yet to read anything published by Peirene that isn’t, but …

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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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Moonstone by Sjón (transl. Victoria Cribb): The Boy Who Never Was

When I included Moonstone in one of my June previews I was surprised when several people picked up on it, already acquainted with Sjón’s writing either through a previous novel or from songs he’d written with Björk. He’s a talented guy: an award-winning novelist, poet, playwright and librettist. I wish I could say that I …

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