A Fist or a Heart

We rated this book:


Since this is the author’s English language debut, I was hoping that I would discover an Icelandic literary treasure. Instead, I found a prosaic tale of two women whose lives intersect without any meaning or substance whatsoever. The main character is a prop maker for the theater. The other woman is the young daughter of a very famous playwright. As she launches her first play, she is full of doubt about its merit. The play is avant-garde, like the playwright’s real life with her mother. The girl and her mother live in chaos. Because of that, they live separate lives from any source of friendship or community.

The author has published seven books and has had three plays staged. This book won the Icelandic Literary Prize of 2017 and second place for the Icelandic Bookseller’s Prize and was selected as one of the best books of 2017 by Icelandic Radio. Perhaps more attentive readers can glean meaning from this story. It is strange and, for this reader, unresolved.

Reviewed By:

Author Kristin Eiriksdottir, Larissa Kyzer, Translator
Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 188 pages
Publish Date 2019-09-24
ISBN 9781542044035
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Issue August 2019
Category Modern Literature


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