WINNER OF THE NORDIC LITERARY PRIZE AND NOMINATED FOR THE ICELANDIC LITERATURE PRIZE
The year is 1883. The stark Icelandic winter landscape is the backdrop. We follow the priest, Skugga-Baldur, on his hunt for the enigmatic blue fox. From there we’re then transported to the world of the naturalist Friðrik B. Friðriksson and his charge, Abba, who suffers from Down’s syndrome, and who came to his rescue when he was on the verge of disaster. Then to a shipwreck off the Icelandic coast in the spring of 1868.
The fates of all these characters are intrinsically bound, and gradually, surprisingly, unravelled in this spellbinding fable that is part mystery, part fairy tale.
About the Author
Sjón is a celebrated Icelandic poet and novelist. His novels have been translated into twenty-five languages and include From the Mouth of the Whale, The Blue Fox and The Whispering Muse (all by Telegram). Sjón won the Nordic Council Literary Prize, the equivalent of the Man Booker Prize, for The Blue Fox and 'Best Icelandic Novel' for The Whispering Muse in 2005. Also a songwriter, he has written lyrics for Björk, including for her eight studio album, Biophilia.
About the Translator
Victoria Cribb works as a freelance translator from Icelandic to English. She has an MA in Icelandic and Scandinavian Studies from UCL, a BPhil in Icelandic from the University of Iceland, and lived and worked in Iceland for a number of years as a publisher, journalist and translator.
'Every now and then a writer changes the whole map of literature inside my head. The most recent has been the Icelander Sjón, whose work is unlike anything I had read, and very exciting … I think of Icelanders as erudite, singular, tough, and uncompromising. Sjón is all these things, but he is also quicksilver, playful and surreal … [Sjón] has changed the way I see things.'
A.S. Byatt, The New York Review of Books
'When I need something epic and lyrical I call upon Sjón.'
'A nearly perfect modern myth'
The Wall Street Journal
'Bile might start to rise in certain quarters at the thought of musical hipsters who think they can pull off a novel. But in this beautiful, tiny book, Sjón has produced the literary equivalent of a snowflake, a hundred page riff on the literature, landscape and history of Iceland which reads more like an epic poem, albeit with one striking piece of modernity thrown in.'
Sarah Hesketh, Ready Ready Book