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Sjón

Fiction and Excerpts [2]
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Fiction and Excerpts [2]

The Whispering Muse (Excerpt)

, || The year is 1949 and Valdimar Haraldsson, an eccentric Icelander with elevated ideas about the influence of fish consumption on Nordic civilization, has had the singular good fortune to be invited to join a Danish merchant ship on its way to the Black Sea. Among the crew is the mythical hero Caeneus, disguised as the second mate. Every evening after dinner he entrances his fellow travelers with the tale of how he sailed with the fabled vessel the Argo on the Argonauts' quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece.

From the Mouth of the Whale (Excerpt)

|| The year is 1635. Iceland is a world darkened by superstition, poverty, and cruelty. Men of science marvel over a unicorn's horn, poor folk worship the Virgin in secret, and both books and men are burned. Jonas Palmason, a poet and self-taught healer, has been condemned to exile for heretical conduct, having fallen afoul of the local magistrate. Banished to a barren island, Palmason recalls his gift for curing "female maladies," his exorcism of a walking corpse on the remote Snjafjoll coast, the frenzied massacre of innocent Basque whalers at the hands of local villagers, and the deaths of three of his children.

The Whispering Muse (Excerpt)

Take a look at The Whispering Muse by Icelandic author Sjón, out today:

The year is 1949 and Valdimar Haraldsson, an eccentric Icelander with elevated ideas about the influence of fish consumption on Nordic civilization, has had the singular good fortune to be invited to join a Danish merchant ship on its way to the Black Sea. Among the crew is the mythical hero Caeneus, disguised as the second mate. Every evening after dinner he entrances his fellow travelers with the tale of how he sailed with the fabled vessel the Argo on the Argonauts’ quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece.

What unfolds is a slender, brilliant, always entertaining novel that evokes Borges and Calvino as it weaves together tales of myth and antiquity with the modern world in a literary voice so singular as to seem possessed.

[Read more]

From the Mouth of the Whale (Excerpt)

Take a peek at From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón, out on April 30:

From the Mouth of the Whale is an Icelandic saga for the modern age. In the words of Hari Kunzru, “Hallucinatory, lyrical, by turns comic and tragic, this extraordinary novel should make Sjón an international name. His evocation of seventeenth-century Iceland through the eyes of a man born before his time has stuck in my mind like nothing else I’ve read in the last year.”

The year is 1635. Iceland is a world darkened by superstition, poverty, and cruelty. Men of science marvel over a unicorn’s horn, poor folk worship the Virgin in secret, and both books and men are burned.

Jonas Palmason, a poet and self-taught healer, has been condemned to exile for heretical conduct, having fallen afoul of the local magistrate. Banished to a barren island, Palmason recalls his gift for curing “female maladies,” his exorcism of a walking corpse on the remote Snjafjoll coast, the frenzied massacre of innocent Basque whalers at the hands of local villagers, and the deaths of three of his children.

Palmason’s story echoes across centuries and cultures, an epic tale that makes us see the world anew.

[Read more]