Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was: A Novel

Category: Book
Translated By: Cribb, Victoria
By (author): Sjon,
Subject:  FICTION / Gay
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Historical
  FICTION / Literary
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
Published: August 2016
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 160
Size: 7.50in x 5.00in

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*The mind-bending miniature historical epic is Sjón's specialty, and Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was is no exception. But it is also Sjón's most realistic, accessible, and heartfelt work yet. It is the story of a young man on the fringes of a society that is itself at the fringes of the world - at what seems like history's most tumultuous, perhaps ultimate moment. Máni Steinn is gay in a society in which the idea of homosexuality is beyond the furthest extreme. His city, Reykjavik in 1918, is homogeneous and isolated and seems entirely defenseless against the Spanish flu, which has already torn through Europe, Asia, and North America and is now lapping up on Iceland's shores. And if the flu doesn't do it, there's always the threat that war will spread all the way north. And yet the outside world has also brought Icelanders cinema! And there's nothing like a dark, silent room with a film from Europe flickering on the screen to help you escape from the overwhelming threats - and adventures - of the night, to transport you, to make you feel like everything is going to be all right. For Máni Steinn, the question is whether, at Reykjavik's darkest hour, he should retreat all the way into this imaginary world, or if he should engage with the society that has so soundly rejected him. Sjón has described Máni Steinn as his most autobiographical character. While Sjón himself is not gay, the novel has already been declared "the gayest book in Iceland" by Out magazine . Sjón has stepped into the role of Iceland's champion of queer culture, and dedicated the book to his uncle, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1993. And for all of the controversy the book engendered on its publication in Iceland (it opens with what is apparently Iceland's first literary description of a blow job), it also swept the country's major literary awards and is slated to be published around the world. It promises to be the book that makes Sjón a household name - or at least forces people to wrap their tongues around it.
Biographical NoteSjón was born in Reykjavik in 1962. He is an award-winning novelist, poet, and playwright, and his novels have been translated into twenty-five languages. He is the president of the Icelandic PEN Centre and the chairman of the board of Reykjavik UNESCO City of Literature. Also a lyricist, he has written songs for Björk, including for her most recent project, Biophilia, and was nominated for an Oscar for the lyrics he cowrote (with Lars von Trier) for Dancer in the Dark. He lives in Reykjavik.