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HEROSTORIES | BOOK TALK WITH KRISTÍN SVAVA TÓMASDÓTTIR, K.B. THORS & LARISSA KYZER

April 25—7:00 pm8:30 pm

Join us for a book talk with Icelandic poet and historian Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir and translator and ASF Translation Prizewinner K.B. Thors on Herostories! With moderator Larissa Kyzer (also an ASF Translation Prizewinner), Tómasdóttir and Thors will discuss this new work out now from Vellum Press revealing tales untold by most history books: the harrowing journeys and vital triumphs of 19th- and 20th-century midwifery in the vast landscape of Iceland.

Composed from the memoirs and biographies of 100 Icelandic midwives, poet-historian Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir’s found poems illuminate the dangers and valor of birthwork. Forgoing traditional sagas of androcentric conquest, these poems center the adventures of ljósmæður, “mothers of light.” Tómasdóttir leverages epic elements—dashing mountain treks, rivers forded on horseback, unyielding compassion—to challenge how and by whom stories become legend. Beyond archival recognition, the text’s formally ambitious poetics render gender-based battles for literacy and education alongside narratives of selfless womanly caretaking, pressurizing the fundamental tensions between feminine self-actualization and the romanticized service of these trailblazing figures.

The follow-up to Tómasdóttir and Thors’ award-winning, PEN-nominated Stormwarning, Herostories documents the professional achievements of Iceland’s first women to work outside the home, precursors to today’s midwives who remain central to contemporary health care on the island.

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Details

Date:
April 25
Time:
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Venue

Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
212-779-3587
Website:
scandinaviahouse.org