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SIXTY KILOS OF SUNSHINE (working title)

Hallgrímur Helgason

  • Original Title: SEXTIU KILO AF SOLSKINI
  • Publication date: December 2018
  • Publisher: JPV
  • Country: IS
  • 461 print pages
  • Dramedy

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 19th century, 20th century
  • Location setting: Iceland
  • Themes: FAMILY, Filiation, Mourning, PEOPLE facing life, Coming of age, Death, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Poverty, Modernization, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social climbing

Pitch

A historical novel set in the poorest, coldest and darkest country in Europe, at the turn of the twentieth century, telling the story of Iceland’s path to modernity.

Comments

Translation rights sold: Germany, Lithuania

Hallgrímur Helgason is an Icelandic painter, novelist, translator, and columnist. His book 101 REYKJAVIK appeared in 13 languages and was nominated for the Nordic Prize for Literature. A movie based on the novel was released in 2000. His book STORMLAND was also adapted into a movie in 2011, written and directed by Marteinn Thorsson. His novel THE AUTHOR OF ICELAND received the Icelandic Prize for Literature in 2001.

Summary

A historical novel set in the poorest, coldest and darkest country in Europe, at the turn of the twentieth century, telling the story of Iceland’s path to modernity.

Eilífur Guðmundsson returns from a week-long trip to the nearest town to the remote Segulfjord, where he farms with his family, to find — nothing. Nothing but a vast blank, an empty whiteness of snow that has covered everything from the innermost waterfall to the ocean’s edge. Beneath the avalanche, his family lie buried in their home, and it is only the lowing of their cow that guides him to the spot above the farmhouse. Eilífur digs down to find that only his infant son, Gestur, has survived, drinking milk from the cow’s udders.

So begins the story of Gestur, whose coming of age is also the story of the birth of a nation. After a failed attempt to emigrate to America, and the loss of his father while shark fishing, Gestur finds himself living in luxury in a nearby town under the care of the shark boat’s owner, then sent back to the poverty of the fjord, before escaping aboard a French fishing vessel. The magnetic pull of the fjord drags him back, though, and it isn’t long before the Norwegians arrive, and with them the future, as the herring boom brings Iceland — and Gestur — into the modern age.

SIXTY KILOS OF SUNSHINE is an ode to a nation, set against the breathtaking beauty of the peaks, fjords and snows of Iceland as its people move from turf huts to wooden houses, from oars to engines, from oppression to opportunity.

go further

  • Author’s biography

    Hallgrímur Helgason (born 1959) is an Icelandic painter, novelist, translator, and columnist. His book 101 REYKJAVIK appeared in 13 languages and was nominated for the Nordic Prize for Literature. A movie based on the novel was released in 2000. His book STORMLAND was also adapted into a movie in 2011, written and directed by Marteinn Thorsson. His novel THE AUTHOR OF ICELAND received the Icelandic Prize for Literature in 2001. THE HITMAN’S GUIDE TO HOUSE CLEANING (2008) was his first book written in English.