Nominated for the Icelandic Literary Prize, Quake: A Novel is a haunting novel-in-translation about Saga, a woman who comes to after an epileptic seizure on a sidewalk along busy Miklabraut Street.
Her three-year-old son is gone. The last thing she remembers is a double-decker bus that no one else can confirm seeing. Over the following days, Saga’s mind is beset by memories and doubts. What happened before her seizure? Who can she trust? And how can she make any sense of her emotions when her memory is so fragmented?
Hailed as Auður Jonsdottir's "best-written novel so far," Quake is a shocking and revelatory exploration of the blurred lines between fact and fiction, reality and imagination, and where mother ends and child begins.
Auður Jónsdóttir is one of the most accomplished authors writing in Icelandic today. She won the Icelandic Literary Prize for The People in the Basement and the Icelandic Women's Literature Prize for Secretaries to the Spirits. Both of these novels were nominated for the Nordic Council's Literature Prize. Auður's latest novel, Quake (Stóri skjálfti), became Auður's most successful novel to date and gathered a huge following among Icelandic readers of all ages, strengthening Auður's position as an important writer of her generation.
Quake is an unflinching exploration of the human instinct to forget and deny trauma, as well as the power of mindful forgiveness; in this way, it is a thrillingly contemporary perspective on the choices we make, conscious and unconscious, that give our futures their shape. —WORLD LITERATURE TODAY
Like any great book, it starts to show you its true self outside its confines, margins, structures and plots....Reading Quake is like gaining pleasure, in slow currents. —INKLETTE magazine
This stunningly vivid novel brings its reader right into the body of a woman as she tries to make sense of her life and her family after illness that impacts her memories. She faces her own choices while not remembering making them. What are we without our memories and what are our relationships without memories? This is a terrifyingly well-written novel about the shock of not being able to trust the body you are trapped in. It portrays life reduced to its bare bones and how we live on to find hope and unexpected allies. Meg Matich’s excellent translation pulls off the magic trick of making it feel as if you are reading in Icelandic. —KAREN HAVELIN, author of Please Read This Leaflet Carefully
A compelling mystery that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go, in a fine translation that gives Iceland a new and powerful voice. I can’t recommend it too highly. —DAVID BELLOS, professor and translator, Princeton University
The novel of the year. —MORGUNBLADIDA poignant and riveting novel, without doubt one of the best books of the year...The reader cannot help being swept away by it. —MORGUNBLADIDWith each new book Jonsdottir’s style gets better and better, and [Quake] is probably her best-written novel so far. The text is literally lip-smackingly good, so that one wants to read some chapters over and over, out loud as well as to oneself. —FRETTATIMINNOutstanding work. —VIDSJAThe book is entertainingly constructed and the characterisation simply wonderful. A fantastic read. —VIKAN magazineIt completely captivated me. A riveting story... —MORGUNVAKTIN, National Broadcasting ServicePut simply, Jonsdottir‘s novel deserves every bit of the praise that has been heaped upon it. —HUGRASA complex family drama as well as a mystery novel that thoroughly develops the theme of what it’s like to be unable to trust your own mind and body...A fusion of literary and plot-driven genres that is a thoroughly entertaining read and will appeal to a diverse readership. —Bokmenntir.isAn ingenious way of telling a family saga...Jonsdottir is incredibly skilful at painting a complete picture of every single character...She has me totally captivated. I was completely absorbed by all of this. —Kiljan, National TV