An Intimate Evening with Sjón

Recorded at Studio 1398 on October 23, 2014

“Every now and then,” wrote A.S. Byatt, “a writer changes the whole map of literature inside my head.” The work of Icelandic writer Sjón, Byatt continues, “is unlike anything I had read.” When Vancouver Writers Fest Artistic Director Hal Wake read more glowing endorsements by such eminent authors as David Mitchell and Junot Díaz, he knew that Sjón should be at the Festival. Sjón has published eight novels, as well as poetry and plays. He writes lyrics for the singer Björk, with whom he has collaborated since they were both teens. Three of his novels are now available in English, and they reveal a potent combination of myth, magic, religion and science that will keep you thinking well into the night.

Born in Reykjavik in 1962, Sjón is a celebrated Icelandic novelist. He won the Nordic Council's Literary Prize (the equivalent of the Man Booker Prize) for his novel The Blue Fox, and the novel From The Mouth Of The Whale was shortlisted for both the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

His latest novel Moonstone – The Boy Who Never Was was awarded the 2013 Icelandic Literary Prize. Also a poet, librettist and lyricist, he has frequently worked with his country woman Björk, including writing songs for her most recent musical project, Biophilia.

Sjón is the president of the Icelandic PEN Centre and former chairman of the board of Reykjavik, UNESCO city of Literature. His novels have been translated into thirty languages.