Sjon
2018 Longlist

Moonstone – the boy who never was

Translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

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 Máni 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 Máni 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.

 

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Sjón

Sjón was born in Reykjavik in 1962. Poet, novelist and playwright, he has received numerous literary awards, including the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize for The Blue Fox, which was also longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2009.

He was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Brit Award for the music, which he collaborated on with Bjork, for Dancer In The Dark. From the Mouth of the Whale is his second novel to be published by Telegram. His work has been translated into twenty-two languages.

Sjón was born in Reykjavik in 1962. Poet, novelist and playwright, he has received numerous literary awards, including the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize for The Blue Fox, which was also longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2009.

He was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Brit Award for the music, which he collaborated on with Bjork, for Dancer In The Dark. From the Mouth of the Whale is his second novel to be published by Telegram. His work has been translated into twenty-two languages.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Victoria
Cribb

Victoria Cribb is a freelance translator of Icelandic literature. Her translations of Icelandic authors published in English include crime novels by Arnaldur Indriðason, The Blue Fox and From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón, and Stone Tree by Gyrðir Elíasson. She has an MA in Icelandic and Scandinavian Studies from UCL and a BPhil in Icelandic from the University of Iceland, and lived and worked in Reykjavík for a number of years as a publisher, journalist, and translator. She is currently completing a PhD in Old Icelandic at the University of Cambridge.

Victoria Cribb is a freelance translator of Icelandic literature. Her translations of Icelandic authors published in English include crime novels by Arnaldur Indriðason, The Blue Fox and From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón, and Stone Tree by Gyrðir Elíasson. She has an MA in Icelandic and Scandinavian Studies from UCL and a BPhil in Icelandic from the University of Iceland, and lived and worked in Reykjavík for a number of years as a publisher, journalist, and translator. She is currently completing a PhD in Old Icelandic at the University of Cambridge.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

A short, sharp historical novel set in 1918, Moonstone is a story of Cinemania, pox, natural disaster and national sovereignty as experienced by a gay, strange????? teenager. Sjón’s storytelling is nimble and ruthless, the story itself frankly romantic.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Country
Iceland
Original Language
Icelandic
Author
Publisher
Sceptre
Translator
Victoria Cribb
Translation
Translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb

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