And the Wind Sees AllGudmundur Andri Thorsson
Relaxing Nordic hygge in a novel; the entire story takes place in two minutes.
In this story we hear the voices of an Icelandic fishing village. On a summer’s day a young woman in a polka-dot dress cycles down the main street. Her name is Kata and she is the village choir conductor. As she passes, we glimpse the members of the village: a priest with a gambling habit, an old brother and sister who have not talked for years, and a sea captain who has lost his son. But perhaps the most interesting story of all belongs to the young woman on the bicycle. Why is she reticent to talk about her past?
Why Peirene chose to publish this book:
Reading this book was like embarking on a gentle journey – with music in my ears and wind in my hair. Yes, there is some darkness in the tales, and not every character is happy. But the story is told with such empathy that I couldn’t help but smile and forgive the flaws that make us human.
Written by Guðmundur Andri Thorsson.
Translated from the Icelandic by Bjørg Arnadottir and Andrew Cauthery.
Home in Exile series
192pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Guðmundur Andri Thorsson was born in 1957 in Reykjavik. He works as a writer, translator, editor and newspaper columnist and has published ten books, including four novels. And The Wind Sees All was nominated for The Nordic Council Literary Prize 2012 and chosen as one of the fifty best books published in Denmark in 2014. It is Thorsson’s first time to be translated into English.
Andrew Cauthery read Law at Oxford. After graduation, he worked in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (and learned Icelandic). Björg Árnadóttir completed a three year course at National Theatre of Iceland Drama School. She has worked as an actor in Iceland and England.
Together, they have translated English texts into Icelandic and Icelandic texts into English. Literary works in Icelandic include translations of Wind in the Willows for Iceland State Radio and A Map of Nowhere by Gillian Cross, for Mál og Menning. Works in English include Tim and the Time Machine by Sigrún Eldjárn, three crime novels (House of Evidence, Daybreak, and Sun on Fire) by Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson for Amazon Crossing, and The Super Book of Science by Vilhem Anton Jónsson for Edda USA. Their translation of Andri Snær Magnason’s Tímakistan is due to be published by Restless Books.
‘A heart-warming gem of a novel’ David Mills, The Sunday Times
‘An exceptional novel, full of music, sun and longing.’ Fréttablaðið
‘Language so evocative that you can feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and hear the music.’ Silvia Mazzobel, Book after Book
‘Captures the imagination, fires up the senses, a delightful read from beginning to end.’ Morgunblaðið
For Reading Groups
Reading And the Wind Sees All in a book group? Here’s some questions to get the conversation going:
1. This story takes place over the course of a few minutes, how does this timeline affect the story?
2. Is there a particular character whose story resonated with you the most?
3. How do the individual stories of the villagers of Valeyri relate to one another?
4. How does food relate to the various and greater narratives?
5. Hygge is a word in Danish and Norwegian that denotes cosy feelings and wellbeing. What elements of this novel might accord with this mood? What might not?
6. Repetition is a device used frequently between chapters. What are some of the repeated phrases? What effect does this have?
7. How does perspective shift from interior worlds to exterior worlds and back?
8. What are some of the concerns shared among the villagers?
9. Poetry and lyric are persistent presences in the novel. What is their role?
10. How do the beginning and end of this book relate to the rest of the story?
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