From the Mouth of the WhaleBook - 2011
"Achingly brilliant, an epic made mad, made extraordinary."--Junot D#65533;az
"Hallucinatory, lyrical, by turns comic and tragic, this extraordinary novel should make Sj#65533;n 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
The year is 1635. Iceland is a world darkened by superstition, poverty, and cruelty.
Men of science marvel over a unicorn's horn, poor folk worship the Virgin in secret, and both books and men are burnt.
Jonas Palmason, a poet and self-taught healer, has been condemned to exile for heretical conduct, having fallen foul of the local magistrate. Banished to a barren island, Jonas recalls his gift for curing "female maladies," his exorcism of a walking corpse on the remote Snjafjoll coast, the frenzied massacre of innocent Basque whalers at the hands of local villagers, and the deaths of three of his children.
Sj#65533;n was born in Reykjavik in 1962. He won the Nordic Council's Literature Prize (the equivalent of the Man Booker Prize) for The Blue Fox , which was also longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2009. Sj#65533;n was nominated for an Oscar for the song lyrics he wrote for Bj#65533;rk in the film Dancer in the Dark and has been working on Bj#65533;rk's latest project, Biophilia . His work has been translated into twenty-three languages.