Icelandic Meltdown

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moonstoneMoonstone: The Boy Who Never Was: A Novel
by Sjón
Translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
Farrar, Strauss & Giroux. 160 pages, $22.

 

THE WRITER known as Sjón (Sigurjón Birgir Sigurösson), whose pen name is an abbreviation of his given name meaning “sight,” is an Icelandic poet, novelist, and librettist who is perhaps best known for his frequent collaborations with the singer Björk. His previous novels, The Blue Fox and From the Mouth of the Whale, have received accolades, and his new novel, Moonstone, is being praised by renowned writers such as David Mitchell, who called it a “shimmering masterpiece.”

Set in Reykjavik in 1918 as the large Katla volcano in southern Iceland is erupting, Moonstone unfolds against the backdrop of the island being ravaged by the Spanish influenza epidemic, which accompanied the troops home to Iceland after the close of World War I.

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