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Your Absence Is Darkness (Biblioasis International Translation #45) By Jón Kalman Stefánsson, Philip Roughton (Translator) Cover Image
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"Inherited memories, legacies imprinted upon generations of Icelanders, determine how characters accommodate the processes of living and dying in this unforgettable novel. Narrated by a man who has returned home with almost no memory of his old life or friends, author Jon Kalman Stefansson explores heartbreak, loneliness, and, most of all, hope. The writing, whether about people or place, is descriptively and emotionally rich. As a saga of small-town life, the book is replete with wonderful stories of mostly ordinary (and a few remarkable) people, legendary to all who fondly remember them. It is difficult to imagine how there could be a book published in 2024 that I will love more than Your Absence is Darkness." -Lori

— From Lori Front Page Recommendation

March 2024 Indie Next List

“Add Your Absence is Darkness to the ever-growing pile of Icelandic classics. This deeply moving novel — full of love, stories large and small, and unforgettable characters — caresses and crashes like the waves against the island’s shores.”
— Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books, Point Reyes Station, CA


A spellbinding saga about the inhabitants and inheritors of one rural community, by one of Iceland's most beloved novelists.

A man comes to awareness in a cold church in the Icelandic countryside, not knowing who he is, why he's there or how he arrived, with a stranger staring mockingly from a few pews back. Startled by the man's cryptic questions, he leaves--and plunges into a history spanning centuries, a past pressed into his genes that sinks him closer to some knowledge of himself. A city girl is drawn to the fjords by the memory of a blue-eyed gaze, and a generation earlier, a farmer's wife writes an essay about earthworms that changes the course of lives. A pastor who writes letters to dead poets falls in love with a faraway stranger, and a rock musician, plagued by cosmic loneliness, discovers that his past has been a lie. Faced with the violence of fate and the effects of choices, made and avoided, that cascade between them, each discovers the cost of following the magnetic needle of the heart.

Incandescent and elemental, hope-filled and humane, Your Absence Is Darkness is a comedy about mortality, music, and the strange salve of time, and a spellbinding saga of death, desire, and the perfect agony of star-crossed love.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781771965811
ISBN-10: 1771965819
Publisher: Biblioasis
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 432
Language: English
Series: Biblioasis International Translation