Names for the Sea

Names for the Sea

Strangers in Iceland

Book - 2013
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Novelist Sarah Moss had a childhood dream of moving to Iceland, sustained by a wild summer there when she was nineteen. In 2009, she saw an advertisement for a job at the University of Iceland and applied on a whim, despite having two young children and a comfortable life in an English cathedral city. The resulting adventure was shaped by Iceland's economic collapse, which halved the value of her salary, by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull and by a collection of new friends, including a poet who saw the only bombs fall on Iceland in 1943, a woman who speaks to elves and a chef who guided Sarah's family around the intricacies of Icelandic cuisine. Sarah was drawn to the strangeness of Icelandic landscape, and explored hillsides of boiling mud, volcanic craters and fissures, and the unsurfaced roads that link remote farms and fishing villages in the far north. She walked the coast path every night after her children were in bed, watching the northern lights and the comings and goings of migratory birds. As the weeks and months went by, the children settled in local schools and Sarah got to know her students and colleagues, she and her family learned new ways to live.
Publisher: Berkeley, Calif. : Counterpoint, 2013
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9781619021228
1619021226
Characteristics: 358 pages : map ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Strangers in Iceland

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uncommonreader
May 25, 2017

This is a good travel book. Moss, her husband and two children spent a term in Iceland at the time of the financial crisis. This book is Moss's discoveries and reflections about Icelandic culture.

smc_1 Jan 21, 2017

An honest, funny account of the author's year living in Iceland; an examination of the experience of being an outsider in an isolated culture. A great read!!

f
frealasruadh
Oct 04, 2013

Like the author, I went to Iceland 'just because', drawn to its isolation and language and exotic landscape. Sarah Moss' novel about her year spent there teaching right after the economic collapse, as a foreigner in a country where the phone book lists only first names, is eloquent and intimate. Her prose style is accessible and suffused with beautiful turns of phrase without being self-aware. Having gone to Iceland twice myself, I resonated to this novel in a way I've not with any literature in a long time. Moss is a literary marvel, her descriptions vibrant and compelling. Her observations on herself and her environment are candid and often bittersweet; I felt every bit her confidante.

ChristchurchLib Jun 10, 2013

"Moss had a childhood dream of moving to Iceland, sustained by a wild summer there when she was nineteen. In 2009, she saw an advertisement for a job at the University of Iceland and applied on a whim, despite having two young children and a comfortable life in Kent. The resulting adventure was shaped by Iceland's economic collapse, which halved the value of her salary, by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull and by a collection of new friends, including a poet who saw the only bombs fall on Iceland in 1943, a woman who speaks to elves and a chef who guided Sarah's family around the intricacies of Icelandic cuisine. Moss explored hillsides of boiling mud and volcanic craters and learned to drive like an Icelander on the unsurfaced roads that link remote farms and fishing villages in the far north. She watched the northern lights and the comings and goings of migratory birds, and as the weeks and months went by, she and her family learned new ways to live." June 2013 Armchair Travel newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=642947

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