read & meet: auður ava ólafsdóttir
The Icelandic author Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (b. 1958 in Reykjavik) studied art history at the Sorbonne in Paris. She currently teaches art history at Reykjavik University, having acted for a time as the director of the university’s art museum. Ólafsdóttir writes poems, novels and plays. Her work has been translated into sixteen languages and has won many awards, among others the Prix Page des Libraires – Prix Européen, the most important prize awarded by booksellers in France. Together with Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir we will discuss her novel Butterflies in November. Participants are expected to have read the novel.
About the book:
In the dark month of November, the narrator of this story is left by her husband, her best friend asks her to mind her four-year-old son because she has to be admitted to hospital, and she wins a lottery. She decides to go on a journey through the barren landscape of Iceland with her protégé, Tumi, in search of a nice spot for a summerhouse. Tumi is almost deaf and has very poor eyesight, and these drastic physical limitations mean that he lives in his own world. With Butterflies in November, Ólafsdóttir shows the absurd and dramatic twists and turns that like can take, and she describes a special and increasingly intense relationship. At the same time, this road trip is a personal quest for the narrator, during which she has to face her own ambivalent feelings about motherhood.
The ‘Read & Meet @ Passa Porta' reading club gives readers the chance to share their reading impressions not only with other readers, but also with the author. Passa Porta staff member and book lover Steven Van Ammel hosts the discussion.
ORG. Passa Porta, Embassy of Iceland
Photo © Anton Brink