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CoDex 1962
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About the Author

Born in Reykjavik in 1962, Sjon is an Icelandic writer whose novels The Blue Fox, The Whispering Muse, From the Mouth of the Whale and Moonstone have been translated into thirty-five languages. He has won several awards including the Nordic Council's Literature Prize for The Blue Fox and has also been shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, while Moonstone won the Icelandic Literary Prize and the Icelandic Booksellers' prize for Novel of the Year. Sjon has also published nine poetry collections, written four opera librettos as well as lyrics for various artists, and was nominated for an Oscar for his lyrics in the film Dancer in the Dark. In 2017, Sjon became the third writer - following Margaret Atwood and David Mitchell - to contribute to Future Library, a public artwork based in Norway spanning 100 years. He lives in Reykjavik, Iceland.Victoria Cribb has translated more than twenty-five books by Icelandic authors. Her translation of Moonstone was long-listed for the Best Translated Book Award and the PEN America Translation Prize in 2016. In 2017 she received the Orostir honorary translation award for services to Icelandic literature.

Reviews

One blindingly beautiful section comprises a list of surrealist images, the nightly dreams of a group of townspeople . . . This book is a Norse Arabian Nights. Each section is a honeycomb. Stories are nested in stories and crack open to reveal rumour and anecdote, prose poems, tendrils of myth. This abundance isn't an empty show of virtuosity but rooted in Sjon's belief in the power and obligation of old-fashioned storytelling . . . [It] consumed me for the better part of a week. I can only echo Loewe, with gratitude, exasperation and awe. "This book's a bloody thief of time." - New York TimesSjon is a raconteur of talent. He can flick from angelic frolics to seedy violence as if each tale were a smooth refraction of the last. He has a knack for high comedy, too. ... Victoria Cribb deserves equal praise for bringing all this zest into English so well. - The Daily TelegraphThe Icelandic literary maverick and Oscar-nominated songwriter Sjon writes with a poet's ear and a musician's natural sense of rhythm. This extraordinary performance . . . sets out to entertain, but also to prod the reader towards a stark realisation of human mortality and the games fate plays. - Guardian, Book of the DayThis book is psychedelic, it's potent and it wants to consume the whole world . . . Sjon is a prodigal storyteller in all senses of the phrase . . . he is a master of atmosphere, a fine observer of the cross-hatchings of human motivation and a vivid noticer of detail. - New York Times Book ReviewThis is a work of great ambition ... above all it feels like a work of virtuoso narrative for its own sake; an Icelandic 1001 Nights. - The Sunday TimesBewitching . . . His stories compound the dreamscapes of Surrealism, the marvels of Icelandic folklore and a pop-culture sensibility into free-form fables. Call it magic realism under Nordic lights . . . Sjon's finale anchors his ingenuity to a moving plea for solidarity Hrolfur, the entrepreneurial geneticist, yearns to "soar heavenwards into a world where imagination is the only law of nature that matters". CoDex 1962 applauds the aim, but distrusts his means and motive. The wild flight remains a mission not for scientists but for story-tellers. - The EconomistSure to delight the reader . . . irresistibly sweeps the reader away . . . a masterpiece, meticulously executed from the first page to the last - National Broadcasting Service IcelandSjon's novels are brilliant collisions of history and fable, psychology and fantasy - Guardian

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