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 June 7, we’ll be discussing Quake by Icelandic author Auður Jónsdóttir.
Nominated for the Icelandic Literary Prize, Quake: A Novel is a haunting novel-in-translation about Saga, a woman who comes to after an epileptic seizure on a sidewalk along busy Miklabraut Street. Her three-year-old son is gone. The last thing she remembers is a double-decker bus that no one else can confirm seeing. Over the following days, Saga’s mind is beset by memories and doubts. What happened before her seizure? Who can she trust? And how can she make any sense of her emotions when her memory is so fragmented?
The English-language debut of award-winning and prolific Icelandic author Auður Jónsdóttir, as translated by Meg Matich, Quake is a shocking and revelatory exploration of the blurred lines between fact and fiction, reality and imagination, and where mother ends and child begins. It has now been adapted into a 2021 film directed by Tinna Hrafnsdóttir, which premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.
“Part mystery, part family drama, part children-in-peril narrative, the novel offers a hectic, heart-thudding, sometimes claustrophobic portrait of panicked inner turmoil”—Kirkus Reviews