A majestic, breathtaking novel by one of Iceland's greatest writers: 'an extraordinary and original writer' - AS Byatt
'A masterpiece . . . I challenge any author to top it!' Sigridur Alberstsdottir, Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.
Josef Loewe enters the world as a lump of clay - carried in a hatbox by his Jewish father Leo, a fugitive in WWII Germany.
Taking refuge in a small-town guesthouse, Leo discovers a kindred spirit in the young woman who nurses him back to health and together they shape the clay into a baby. But en route to safety in Iceland, he is robbed of the ring needed to bring the child to life. It is not until 1962 that Josef can be 'born', only to grow up with a rare disease. Fifty-three years on, it leads him into the hands of a power-hungry Icelandic geneticist, just when science and politics are threatening to lead us all down a dark, dangerous road.
At once playful and profoundly serious, this remarkable novel melds multiple genres into a unique whole: a mind-bending read and a biting, timely attack on nationalism.
Sure to delight the reader . . . irresistibly sweeps the reader away . . . a masterpiece, meticulously executed from the first page to the last - National Broadcasting Service, Iceland
Dazzlingly funny and entertaining in sections, dramatic and tragic, light and serious, woven with the artistry we recognise in Sjon's other work . . . he creates with his inexhaustible imagination a gorgeous and relevant ending - Frettabladid
Sjon is one of our era's great writers. Like Ovid, Kafka, and Bulgakov, he is fascinated by metamorphosis and, from apparently limitless resources of the imagination, can convey what it must feel like. - Nation
An extraordinary and original writer
Iceland's literary spell-binder . . . A tantalising smoke of marvel and magic drifts through Sjon's work - Economist 1843
Beguiling, surpassingly eccentric . . . Though occasionally reminiscent of David Mitchell, Sjon's work is unlike anything else in contemporary fiction. Strange - but stunning - Kirkus
Born in Reykjavik in 1962, Sjon is a celebrated Icelandic author. He won the Nordic Council's Literary Prize for his novel The Blue Fox and the novel From The Mouth Of The Whale was shortlisted for both the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was was awarded the 2013 Icelandic Literary Prize. Also a poet, librettist and lyricist, he has worked with his countrywoman Bjork, written four librettos and published eleven volumes of poetry. His novels have been translated into thirty-five languages. He lives in Reykjavik with his wife and two children.