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  • MacLehose Press
  • MacLehose Press

Your Absence is Darkness

Jon Kalman Stefansson

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Iceland, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Fiction in translation

An extraordinary and ambitious mosaic of a novel of a family over centuries, from Iceland's most exceptional contemporary storyteller.

"Comparisons do not do justice to the complexity of Stefansson's book, nor the uniqueness of his prose" DANIEL MASON, author of North Woods

"Stefansson shares the elemental grandeur of Cormac McCarthy" EILEEN BATTERSBY, TLS

"A rich depiction of life, love and loss . . .
Stefansson is a writer of great scope and imagination" RONAN HESSION, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul

"Stefansson's prose rolls and surges with oceanic splendour" BOYD TONKIN, Spectator

A spellbinding saga about the inhabitants and inheritors of one rural community, by one of Iceland's most celebrated novelists.

A man comes to awareness in a church in rural Iceland, not knowing why he's there or how he arrived. When a local woman offers to reunite him with her sister, he realises he's lost not only his bearings, but his memory as well: he doesn't recognise either woman, and as their stories unfold, he is plunged into a history spanning centuries and lives: a city girl drawn to the fjords by the memory of a blue-eyed gaze; a farmer's wife whose essay on the humble earthworm changes the course of lives; a pastor who writes to dead poets and falls in love with a stranger; a musician plagued by cosmic loneliness, who discovers that his life has been a lie; and an alcoholic transfixed by the night sky. Faced with the violence of destiny and the effects of choices, made and avoided, that cascade between lives, each discovers the cost of following the magnetic needle of the heart.

An incandescent, audacious novel about the misfortune of mortality and the strange salve of time, Your Absence is Darkness is a spellbinding story of death, desire and the perfect agony of star-crossed love.

Translated from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton

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Jon Kalman Stefansson

JA n Kalman StefA nsson's novels have been nominated three times for the Nordic Council Prize for Literature and his novel Summer Light, and then Comes the Night received the Icelandic Prize for Literature in 2005. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious P.O. Enquist Award. He is perhaps best known for his trilogy - Heaven and Hell, The Sorrow of Angels (longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize) and The Heart of Man (winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize) - and for Fish Have No Feet (longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017).

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