On July 13, join us for a virtual book talk with Icelandic author Thóra Hjörleifsdóttir and translator Meg Matich on the release of the new novel Magma.

In this slim and haunting debut, 20-year-old Lilja is quickly smitten with an intelligent, beautiful young man from university who quotes Derrida, reads Latin and cooks balanced vegetarian meals. Before long, she’s moved in with him and begins living in his cramped apartment. As the newfound intimacy of sharing a shower and bed fuels her desire to please her partner, his quiet and pervasive manipulations start to unravel her, as acts of nearly imperceptible abuse continue to mount. Lilja wants to hold onto him, take care of him and be the perfect lover. But in order to do so, she gradually lets go of her boundaries and concurrently starts to lose her sense of self.

With astounding clarity and restraint, Magma sheds light on the commonplace undercurrents of violence that so often go undetected in romantic relationships.

With moderator Larissa Kyzer, the author and translator will discuss the novel, out beginning today from Black Cat. Click here to learn more and to order.

This event will take place as a Zoom webinar; please ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to  info@amscan.org. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above.

“Bulleted, candid, first-person prose that parallels the quickness in which women’s lives can become less their own.”—Literary Hub

“A compulsive, propulsive debut.”—Lily King

About the Speakers

Thóra Hjörleifsdóttir has published three poetry collections with her poetry collective, Imposter Poets. She lives in Reykjavik. Magma is her first novel.

Meg Matich earned her Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University’s Creative Writing and Literary Translation program. She’s received support for her literary translation work from PEN, the Icelandic Literature Centre, the DAAD, and the Fulbright Commission, among others. She has translated poetry into both English and Icelandic as a representative of Reykjavik UNESCO City of Literature. Magma is her fourth full-length publication.

Larissa Kyzer is a writer and Icelandic literary translator. She was Princeton University’s fall 2019 Translator in Residence and is a member of Ós, an Iceland-based international literary collective, as well as the American Literary Translators Association.

Her translation of Kristín Eiríksdóttir’s A Fist or a Heart was awarded the American Scandinavian Foundation’s 2019 translation prize. She is co-chair of PEN America’s Translation Committee and runs the bi-monthly, NYC-based Women+ in Translation reading series Jill!.