As part of a Seattle visit that includes the University of Washington, renowned Icelandic novelist, columnist, and artist Hallgrimur Helgason will read and discuss his work here. He is most recently the author of the novel, Woman at 1,000 Degrees (Algonquin, translated by Brian FitzGibbon).
“Helgason’s sad and funny novel begins in 2009, as 80-year-old Herra Björnsson lies dying in a Reykjavík garage, still in possession of a live hand grenade from World War II...In her unsentimental, unsparing narrative, she offers insights into Icelandic culture and character, including a riff on reticence and a brief summary of Iceland’s financial meltdown. Like the Icelandic landscape, she can be both appealing and treacherous.” —Publishers Weekly.
“Herra Björnsson may be dying at an advanced age in a garage but she has all her wits and a lifetime of grievances firmly in focus. Her fierce and sardonic deathbed confession carefully unfolds a harrowing tale of family upheaval, betrayal, war, and survival at dehumanizing cost. Hallgrímur Helgason’s audacious new novel is gripping, darkly comic, and utterly original.” —Valerie Martin.
This visit made possible by the Department of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Washington.