Sigurbjorn is an architect with big dreams. In the spring of 1953, he is busy planning Iceland’s first department store. However, when the structure is finished and the store is about to open, his 12-year old son is lured inside by a stranger, beaten and sexually assaulted.
This work chronicles how this devastating event acts like a cancer on the lives of those it touches. Sigurbjorn’s world disintegrates with gathering speed as he questions his faith, his friendships and his marriage. Then, having lost his business, he plummets into the abyss of mental breakdown.
Ólafur Gunnarsson was born in Reykjavík in 1948. He has written poetry, short stories and children’s books but is best known for his novels. With his highly acclaimed trilogy Trolls’ Cathedral (1992), Potter’s Field (1996) and Winter Journey (1999), he has earned a place among the major realists in Icelandic letters.
The first two novels have been translated into English and his novella Gaga was published in Canada as early as 1988. His historical novel The Axe and the Earth (2003) has received unanimous praise and was awarded the Icelandic Literary Prize in 2003.