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  • John Murray
  • John Murray
  • John Murray
  • John Murray

Heida: A Shepherd at the Edge of the World

Steinunn Siguroardottir

7 Reviews

Rated 0

The countryside, country life

The inspiring story of Icelandic sheep farmer, former model and feminist heroine has become an international bestseller and won both the Icelandic Booksellers' Prize and Women's Literature Prize

'HEIDA IS A FORCE OF NATURE . . . EXACTLY THE RIGHT SORT OF MODERN ROLE MODEL' SUNDAY TIMES

The inspiring story of Icelandic sheep farmer, former model and feminist heroine Heida Asgeirsdottir has become a double prize-winning international bestseller.

As heard on Radio 4's Start the Week:
I'm not on my own because I've been sitting crying into a handkerchief or apron over a lack of interested men. I've been made every offer imaginable over the years. Men offer themselves, their sons . . . drunk fathers sometimes call me up and say things like: "Do you need a farmhand?" "I can lift the hay bales" "I can repair your tractors". . .

Heida is a solitary farmer with a flock of 500 sheep in a remorseless area bordering Iceland's highlands. It's known as the End of the World. One of her nearest neighbours is Iceland's most notorious volcano, Katla, which has periodically driven away the inhabitants of Ljotarstaoir ever since people first started farming there in the twelfth century. This portrait of Heida written with wit and humour by one of Iceland's most acclaimed novelists, Steinunn Siguroardottir, tells a heroic tale of a charismatic young woman, who walked away from a career as a model to take over the family farm at the age of 23.

I want to tell women they can do anything, and to show that sheep farming isn't just a man's game.

Divided into four seasons, HEIDA tells the story of a remarkable year, when Heida reluctantly went into politics to fight plans to raise a hydro-electric power station on her land. This book paints a unforgettable portrait of a remote life close to nature. Translated into six languages, HEIDA has won two non-fiction prizes and has become an international bestseller.

We humans are mortal; the land outlives us, new people come, new sheep, new birds and so on but the land with its rivers and lakes and resources, remains.

'UTTERLY CHARMING' MAIL ON SUNDAY
'REVELATORY AND INSPIRING' HERALD

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Praise for Heida: A Shepherd at the Edge of the World

  • I had the feeling while reading it that Heida was in MY kitchen, idly chatting to ME and that I was getting to know her really well, as a close friend . . . It was a privilege to be 'talked to' as a friend and allowed to share a fine farmer's life for a few hours - Rosamund Young, author of THE SECRET LIVES OF COWS

  • Heida is a force of nature . . . she has about her an honesty that is never less than enchanting - Sunday Times

  • A rare portrait of a woman possessed of frontier courage and a sense of humour and humility . . . revelatory and inspiring - The Herald

  • A fierce account of what it means to hold the countryside in trust . . . [Heida is an] utterly charming personality . . . this is an inspiring story of resistance to a corporate Goliath, and [Heida] - with her forthright tone and irrepressible humour - makes a delightful David - Mail on Sunday

  • Sharp and funny . . . this is an engrossing quick dispatch from an unusual life - The Riverside Way (The Riverside Bookshop blog)

  • What a story . . . a real-life Bathsheba from Far From the Madding Crowd, but undistracted by the endless queue of male suitors . . . this frank, unusual book details a year in her life - Muddy Stilettos

  • An engaging memoir . . . a beautifully written ode - Countryman

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