Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was
Winner of the Icelandic Literary Prize The year is 1918 and in Iceland the erupting volcano Katla can be seen colouring the sky night and day from the streets of Reykjavik. Yet life in the small capital carries on as usual, despite the natural disaster, a shortage of coal and, in the outside world, the Great War grinding on. There, sixteen-year-old Mani Steinn lives for the new fashion - the movies. Asleep he dreams altered versions of them, their tapestry of events threaded with strands from his own life. Awake he hovers on the fringes of society. But then the Spanish flu epidemic comes ashore, killing hundreds and driving thousands into their sick beds. The shadows of existence deepen and for Mani everything changes. Capturing Iceland at a moment of profound transformation, this is the story of a misfit in a place where life and death, reality and imagination, secrets and revelations jostle for dominance. With not a word wasted, this mesmerising and original novel is the work of a major international writer.
Iceland: - A masterful, intricately woven story with unforgettable images, an intense style, and a unique hero. The reading experience of the year. Frettabladid A joy to read. An amazing book. DV Daily Denmark: - ****** A small, poignant novel about the greatest things. (6 out of 6 stars) Politiken ***** Concentrated enjoyment (5 out of 5 stars) Berlingske Tidende ****** Sublime (6 out of 6 stars) Weekendavisen Finland: - A fascinating story about an exotic country in a time of plight. Sjon manages to distil great emotions into short sentences. Iltalehden Ilona Praise for The Whispering Muse: - The Whispering Muse is a quirky, melodic, ticklish, seamlessly-translated, lovingly-polished gem of a novel. Sjon's work deserves space on any self-respecting bookshelf of European fiction. -- David Mitchell Praise for From the Mouth of the Whale: - Hallucinatory, lyrical, by turns comic and tragic, this extraordinary novel should make Sjon 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. -- Hari Kunzru Praise for The Blue Fox: - The Blue Fox describes its world with brilliant, precise, concrete colour and detail ... Comic and lyrical. -- A. S. Byatt The Times
Born in Reykjavik in 1962, Sjon is a celebrated Icelandic author. He won the Nordic Council's Literary Prize for his novel The Blue Fox and the novel From The Mouth Of The Whale was shortlisted for both the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was was awarded the 2013 Icelandic Literary Prize. Also a poet, librettist and lyricist, he has worked with his countrywoman Bjork, written three operas and published eleven volumes of poetry. His novels have been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Reykjavik with his wife and two children.