Icelandic author Sjón and Sam Sacks, fiction critic for The Wall Street Journal, discuss Sjón’s latest novel, Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2016). Moonstone is a mind-bending miniature historical epic, Sjón’s specialty, but it is also the writer’s most realistic, accessible, and heartfelt work to date. 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.
“Though it is a deeply felt novel, Sjón’s prose is never histrionic or overwrought, balancing rage and hallucination…with a gentleness of spirit, an affection for precision and the small scale. The result is sure to delight his fans and convert many new ones.”—Hari Kunzru, The Guardian
Copies of Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was will be available for purchase and signing following the book talk.
Sjón was born in Reykjavík in 1962. He is an award-winning novelist, poet, and playwright, and his novels have been translated into 25 languages. He is the president of the Icelandic PEN Centre and the 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 co-wrote (with Lars von Trier) for the film Dancer in the Dark. He lives in Reykjavík.
About Sam Sacks
Sam Sacks is the fiction critic at the Wall Street Journal as well as a founding editor of the online journal Open Letters Monthly.
His writing has appeared in Harper’s, the London Review of Books, the New Republic and elsewhere. He lives in New York.