The Swan

Front Cover
Mare's Nest, 1997 - Fiction - 152 pages
4 Reviews
Winner of the 1991 Icelandic Literary Prize, The Swan is a masterful work by one of Iceland's most accomplished novelists and one of its leading fictional innovators. A nine-year old girl is sent to live and work on a country farm to serve her probation for shiplifting, a common form of punishment in Iceland. There, in a powerful, unchanging landscape, she experiences a community torn between ancient tradition and new attitudes. She confronts new and painful feelings and has to face the unknown within herself and her alien surroundings. The contrasts that Bergsson carefully develops throughout the novel, between the grotesque and the beautiful, the comical and the dramatic, come to a powerful conclusion in an almost surreal confrontation by a lake between the girl, the swan, and a lamb.

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Review: The Swan

User Review  - Frank - Goodreads

Icelandic author Gu­bergur Bergsson offers something far from usual story of a young girl spending a summer in the country. A stark existentialism weaves through his tale of a nine-year-old girl sent ... Read full review

Review: The Swan

User Review  - Victoria - Goodreads

I am still processing this odd little cygnet of a book. It is already unusual in that none of the characters have names--the main character remains "the Girl" all the way through the book ... Read full review


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About the author (1997)

Bernard Scudder lives in Reykjavk as a full-time translator. His translations encompass sagas, ancient and modern poetry, and leading contemporary novels and plays.

Svanhildur Oscarsdttir has a research post at the rni Magnsson Institute in Reykjavk, Iceland.

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