Gyðir Elíasson: Stone Tree
$17.95 in Canada
Along the lonely western shores of Iceland, among its vast mountain ranges and its barren lava fields, this sublime collection of short stories blends the desires and efforts of its numerous protagonists, nearly all intent on taking leave of their normal lives in order to pursue their dreams more seriously. A Boston ornithologist speeds through the landscape in a four-by-four chasing Arctic Terns; a schoolboy is relocated to the northernmost town of Siglufjördur to compete in a chess tournament; and a husband packs his wife off to visit her aunt in Sweden. Despite the desolation of their surroundings, the characters encounter strange company: ghostly presences in the early hours, enviable neighbors, and fellow writers with remarkably similar ambitions. Plotting a constellation of singular, glittering images that are rendered nonetheless complete, this magnificent compilation intersects the paths of its characters, who are at once isolated in their individual pursuits and yet connected in the vast realm of dreams.
Gyrðir Elíasson is a writer and a translator. His collection, The Yellow House, was awarded the Icelandic Literature Prize and the Halldor Laxnes Prize for Literature in 2000.