A well-traveled friend told me…
that before visiting a new place she liked to read a fictional book about her destination written by a native author. This way she could start to get a feel for the culture. I’ve always loved this idea, and I try and do the same thing. So I l searched for ‘best Icelandic novels’ in preparation for my upcoming trip. ‘Independent People’ by Halldor Laxness kept coming up. Laxness is considered one of Iceland’s best writers. In fact he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955 for this book.
Perfect! I ordered copies for the two girlfriends I’m traveling with as a little fun thing we could read together.
And then I went down to the bookstore (The Strand) to get mine… and O my gosh this book is dense! Not that I have anything against dense books, but I had imagined that this would be a fun little ditty I could breeze through. Not an epic about an Icelandic farmer.
So to my lovely friends Sarah and Kim (who I sent the book to), I’m sorry. I didn’t know what I had sent to you. I won’t be upset if it’s a bit much to read right now. But because it was my idea, I feel obligated to finish it. Wish me luck