Literature Sjn The Whispering Muse: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780374289072

The Whispering Muse: A Novel

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9780374289072: The Whispering Muse: A Novel

Already celebrated far beyond his native Iceland, the novels of Sjón arrive on waves of praise from writers, critics, and readers worldwide. Sjón has won countless international awards and earned ringing comparisons to Borges, Calvino, and Iceland's other literary superstar, the Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness. The Whispering Muse is his 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 its quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece.
What unfolds is a slender but masterful, brilliant, and always entertaining novel that ranges deftly from the comic to the mythic as it weaves together tales of antiquity with the modern world in a voice so singular as to seem possessed.

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Review:

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2013: Fish, myth, and pith form the foundation of this quick, quirky tale from celebrated Icelandic author Sjón. It's 1949 and a merchant ship embarks upon its maiden voyage. At the captain's dinner table, competing tale-tellers vie for the attention of their fellow travelers. The first is our tedious narrator, a retired journal editor who takes great pride in his theories and lectures on the connections between a fish-based diet and Nordic strength. But his oratorical skills (not to mention his subject of choice) pale in comparison to those of the ship's first mate, who in mysterious first-person detail shares the enthralling exploits of Jason and the Argonauts. Sjón artfully weaves the two together to comprise his own compellingly spun story; one that is over far too soon. ----Robin A. Rothman

About the Author:

Sjón is the author of, among other works, The Blue Fox and From the Mouth of the Whale. Born in Reykjavík in 1962, he is an awardwinning novelist, poet, and playwright, and his novels have been translated into twenty-five languages. He is the president of the Icelandic PEN Centre and chairman of the board of Reykjavík 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 Reykjavík.

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