Lectures & Literary highlights

Animal Life by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir Online Nordic Book Club


TUE—May 2—6 PM, free
**Nordic Book Club will take place as an online meeting**

Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of our Nordic Book Club, now online! Each month we select a novel from some of the best Nordic literary voices. On May 2, we’ll be discussing the novel Animal Life by Icelandic novelist Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (Miss Iceland).

In the days leading up to Christmas, Dómhildur delivers her 1,922nd baby. Beginnings and endings are her family trade; she comes from a long line of midwives on her mother’s side and a long line of undertakers on her father’s. She even lives in the apartment that she inherited from her grandaunt, a midwife with a unique reputation for her unconventional methods.

As a terrible storm races towards Reykjavik, Dómhildur discovers decades worth of letters and manuscripts hidden amongst her grandaunt’s clutter. Fielding calls from her anxious meteorologist sister and visits from her curious new neighbor, Dómhildur escapes into her grandaunt’s archive and discovers strange and beautiful reflections on birth, death and human nature. With her singular warmth and humor, in Animal Life Ólafsdóttir gives us a beguiling novel that comes direct from the depths of an Icelandic winter, full of hope for spring.

“A gorgeous, spiraling slow burn of a book… To read this book is to immerse oneself in the natural world of Iceland”—San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Audur Ava Ólafsdóttir was born in Iceland in 1958, studied art history in Paris, and has lectured in history of art at the University of Iceland. She is the author of six novels, a collection of poetry and four plays that have been performed at the National Theatre in Iceland and at the Reykjavik City Theatre.

She also writes the lyrics for the Icelandic performance pop band Milkywhale. Her novels have been translated into over 25 languages, among them are The Greenhouse and Butterflies in November. She currently lives and works in Reykjavik.