Nothing to be Rescued

Ásta Sigurðardóttir


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Nordisk Books
23 November 2023
ISBN: 9781803522548
192 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Meg Matich

Collected here for the first time in English, the short stories of Ásta Sigurðardóttir (April 1, 1930- Dec. 21, 1971) mark the breakthrough of modernism in Icelandic prose, though she herself remains a somewhat unsung figure in the island's contemporary literary history. Sigurðardóttir’s poetic and hallucinogenically-beautiful stories, often written from the perspective of a naïve girl or young woman, grapple with violence in mid-twentieth century Iceland from the vantage points of marginalised voices. Many narrativize strife—sexual, physical, and psychological abuse; houselessness, alcoholism, and income inequality; extramarital pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and child loss—while still others vibrate with the natural forces of Iceland.  

Sigurðardóttir’s stories are all dictated by a voice of surprising ability and volume for such a young writer, who died tragically at age 41. In Meg Matich’s translation, Sigurðardóttir’s bold voice resounds for a new generation of readers.