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Miss Iceland: Book summary and reviews of Miss Iceland by Audur Ava Olafsdottir

Miss Iceland

by Audur Ava Olafsdottir

Miss Iceland by Audur Ava Olafsdottir X
Miss Iceland by Audur Ava Olafsdottir
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2020
    256 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

The extraordinary new novel from Nordic Council Literature Prize-winning Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir.

Iceland in the 1960s. Hekla always knew she wanted to be a writer. In a nation of poets, where each household proudly displays leatherbound 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.

After packing her few belongings, including James Joyces's Ulysess and a Remington typewriter, Hekla heads for Reykjavik with a manuscript buried in her bags. She 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 her job as a waitress, in which harassment from customers is part of the daily grind. The two friends feel completely out of place in a small and conservative world.

And yet that world is changing: JFK is shot and hemlines are rising. In Iceland another volcano erupts and Hekla meets a poet who brings to light harsh realities about her art. Hekla realizes she must escape to find freedom abroad, whatever the cost.

Miss Iceland is a novel of extraordinary poise and masterful acuity from one of our most celebrated Icelandic writers.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] graceful and quiet tale of feminism, alienation, and artistic expression...Ólafsdóttir tenderly explores how these authentic characters help each other overcome their fears and doubts. This winning tale of friendship and self-fulfillment will inspire readers." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"In this excellent introduction to her work, Ólafsdóttir creates a world where either escape or hiding one's true nature are the only choices." - Library Journal

"If you have never read Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, get Miss Iceland immediately." - Vanity Fair (France)

"A wonderful novel about freedom, creation and accomplishment." - Marie Claire (France)

"A potent, atmospheric story of creative frustration and fulfilment. I loved the wry, tender voice of Ólafsdóttir's narrator. I'm now going to read all of her other novels." - Megan Hunter, author of The End We Start From

"Helka, trying to make it in the big city, a woman in 1960's Reykjavik weighed down by expectation and constraint. I so wanted Helka to get away and be free, to slap the hands that felt her up and to ditch the boyfriend. Only a great book can make you feel you're really there, a thousand miles and a generation away. I loved it." - Kit de Waal

The information about Miss Iceland shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir is an Icelandic prize-winning novelist, playwright and a poet. She is the author of six novels, a collection of poetry and four plays that have been performed at the National Theatre in Iceland and at the Reykjavik City Theatre. She also writes the lyrics for the Icelandic performance pop band Milkywhale. Auður Ava's novels have been translated into over 25 languages and among them are The Greenhouse and Butterflies in November. Her last novel, Hotel Silence, won the Nordic Council Literature Prize and the Icelandic Literary Prize. Her forthcoming novel, Miss Iceland, won the Icelandic Bookseller's Prize. Auður Ava lives in Reykjavik.

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