The Whispering Muse: A Novel

Category: Book
Translated By: Cribb, Victoria
By (author): Sjon,
Subject:  FICTION / Fantasy / Historical
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Sea Stories
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
Published: May 2014
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 160
Size: 7.25in x 4.83in x 0.50in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Sublime . . . A work of coy humor and shape-shifting magic . - The Wall Street Journal Sjón's novels have been championed by a veritable pantheon of literary luminaries: Junot Díaz, David Mitchell, A. S. Byatt, Hari Kunzru, and Alberto Manguel, who calls The Whispering Muse "an extraordinary, powerful fable-a marvel." The Whispering Muse is Sjón's masterpiece so far.      The year is 1949 and Valdimar Haraldsson, an eccentric Icelander with elevated ideas about the influence of fish consumption on Nordic civilization, has had the extraordinary good fortune to be invited to join a Danish merchant ship on its way to the Black Sea. Among the crew is the mythical hero Caeneus, disguised as the second mate. Every evening after dinner he entrances his fellow travelers with the tale of how he sailed with the fabled vessel the Argo on the Argonauts' quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece.      What unfolds is a slender, brilliant, always entertaining novel that evokes Borges and Calvino as it weaves together tales of myth and antiquity with the modern world in a literary voice so singular as to seem possessed.
Review Quote*"A quirky, melodic, ticklish, seamlessly translated, lovingly polished gem of a novel." -David Mitchell "By taking the old myths seriously as ways of imagining, Sjón is able to transform and make them fresh . . . Sjón's novels seem like a salutary injection of cold Nordic air into a room that, let's admit, can get a bit stuffy." - Slate
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.