Fiction butterflies

Published on January 10th, 2014


Butterflies in November by Audur Ava Olafsdóttir

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Blurb: After a day of being dumped – twice – and accidentally killing a goose, the narrator begins to dream of tropical holidays far away from the chaos of her current life. Instead, she finds her plans wrecked by her best friend’s deaf-mute son, thrust into her reluctant care. But when a shared lottery ticket nets the two of them over 40 million kroner, she and the boy head off on a road trip across Iceland, taking in cucumber-farming hotels, dead sheep, and any number of her exes desperate for another chance. (Pushkin Press, November 2013)

Anita Sethi, The Observer

“It is the wintry roads of Iceland – and the metaphorical paths taken and not taken – that twist and turn throughout this evocative, humorous novel, beautifully translated from Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon.”

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Isabel Berwick, The Financial Times

Butterflies in November is funny and wistful, but there’s a darker narrative just beneath the surface, expressed in short italicised passages throughout the book.”

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Wendy Holden, The Daily Mail

“Despite the big jumpers and frozen terrain we warm to Olafsdottir’s clear-eyed, quirky heroine.

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Sarah  Moss, The Guardian

“For writing so explicitly concerned with the powers and nuances of words, Brian FitzGibbon’s translation is badly scarred by clumsiness of grammar, syntax and expression. Perhaps the original Icelandic is as sloppy; it’s not as if the narrator were characterised by intellectual rigour. Butterflies in November has done well in French and will find readers who like kooky narrators, gender essentialism and recipes in novels.”

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