Olafsdottir_-Audur-Ava_Miss-Iceland
2022 Longlist

Miss Iceland

Translated from the Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Named after one of Iceland’s most magnificent volcanoes, Hekla always knew she wanted to be a writer. In a nation of poets, where each household proudly displays leather bound volumes of the Sagas, and there are more writers per capita than anywhere else in the world, there is only one problem: she is a woman.

She decides to try her luck in Reykjavik, and moves in with her friend Jon, a gay man who longs to work in the theatre, but can only find dangerous, backbreaking work on fishing trawlers. Hekla’s opportunities are equally limited: marriage and babies, or a job as a waitress, in which harassment from customers is part of the daily grind. They both feel completely out of place in a small and conservative world.

And yet that world is changing: JFK is shot, hemlines are rising, and in Iceland another volcano erupts, and Hekla knows she must escape to find freedom abroad, whatever must be left behind.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Auður
Ava Ólafsdóttir

Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir is a novelist, playwright and poet and also a lyricist for the Icelandic performance pop band Milkywhale. Her novels have been translated into over 25 languages, and they include Butterflies in November and Hotel Silence which won among others the Nordic Council Literature Prize, and the Icelandic Literary Prize. Auður Ava lives in Reykjavik.

Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir is a novelist, playwright and poet and also a lyricist for the Icelandic performance pop band Milkywhale. Her novels have been translated into over 25 languages, and they include Butterflies in November and Hotel Silence which won among others the Nordic Council Literature Prize, and the Icelandic Literary Prize. Auður Ava lives in Reykjavik.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Brian
FitzGibbon

Brian FitzGibbon from Dublin currently resides in Iceland, where he works as a freelance writer and translator. Prior to moving to Iceland, he lived in Italy, working as a freelance translator  for international organisations such as UNESCO. Much of his translation work is in the areas of stage plays, film scripts, and novels.

Brian FitzGibbon from Dublin currently resides in Iceland, where he works as a freelance writer and translator. Prior to moving to Iceland, he lived in Italy, working as a freelance translator  for international organisations such as UNESCO. Much of his translation work is in the areas of stage plays, film scripts, and novels.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

“Miss Iceland is a story of Hekla, named after one of Iceland’s most famous volcanos. A brilliant young woman who wants to be a writer in 1960s Iceland. A story about countless women burdened with what they don’t want, and unable to have what they should be allowed, what they desire, what they deserve.

Hekla is a woman we grow to love and admire, a woman trodden on by a world so ordinary and unkind. It’s a beautifully written story about good people in a bad world.

The book was nominated to the Icelandic Literature Prize in 2018 and won the Employees of Booksellers award in Iceland for best novel 2019. It won Prix Médicis étranger in 2019.”

Reykjavik City Library, Iceland

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
16/06/2020
Country
Iceland
Original Language
Icelandic
Publisher
Pushkin Press
Translator
Brian FitzGibbon
Translation
Translated from the Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon

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