History. A Mess.
by Sigrún Pálsdóttir
A young PhD student believes she has uncovered the first professional female artist in Britain. It’s a discovery that could transform her career and reputation. However, in her haste to break new ground, she has made a simple mistake which threatens everything – and she won’t acknowledge her error until it’s far too late. As she goes to ever greater lengths to protect her work from the truth, she begins to lose her grip on her thesis, her life and ultimately her sanity. History. A Mess is a remarkable exploration of intellectual integrity and denial, and a gripping and satirical portrait of academic ambition.
168pp, paperback with flaps, £12.99
Publication date: 6 February 2023
Press & Reviews
'A sweeping and intuitive work.' - Asymptote Journal
'Its ambition is met with resounding success every step of the way.' - Willow Heath, Books & Bao
'‘Fans of the nouveau roman – Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute, etc. – will be right at home here.' - Kirkus Reviews
'Pálsdóttir writes with the hand of a mystery author and the mind of a postmodernist, teasing out her protagonist’s problem while playing with literary forms, fragmenting timelines, and injecting fierce irony.' - Publishers Weekly
'Absolutely brilliant from beginning to end.' Icelandic National Television
'A complex and arresting novel where a super-precise
style and an ingenious construction come together.' Committee for the Women’s Literature Prize, Iceland
About The Book
Lytton Smith has translated over a dozen novels and nonfiction books from the Icelandic, including works by Andri Snær Magnason, Bragi Ólafsson, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, and Ófeigur Sigurðsson. He was awarded a 2019 Literary Arts Fellowship in Translation from the National Endowment for the Arts. His most recent poetry collection, The Square, won the 2020 NMP/ Diagram Chapbook Contest.