Salka Valka

Salka Valka

Summary

A new translation of Nobel Prize-winning author Halldór Laxness's masterpiece

Late one snowy midwinter night, in a remote Icelandic fishing village, a penniless woman arrives by boat. She comes with her daughter, the young but gutsy Salka Valka. The two must forge a life in this remote place, where everyone is at the mercy of a single wealthy merchant, and where everything revolves around fish.

After her mother's tragic death, Salka grows into a fiercely independent-minded adult - cutting off her hair, educating herself and becoming an advocate for the town's working class. A coming-of-age story, a feminist tale, a lament for Iceland's poor - this is the funny, tender, epic story of Salka Valka.

'Laxness is a poet who writes to the edges of the pages, a visionary who allows us a plot' Daily Telegraph

TRANSLATED BY PHILIP ROUGHTON

Reviews

  • Laxness was a genius
    New York Review of Books

About the author

Halldór Laxness

Halldór Laxness (1908-98) was born near Reykjavik, Iceland. His first novel was published when he was seventeen. The undisputed master of contemporary Icelandic fiction and one of the outstanding novelists of the twentieth-century, he wrote more than sixty books. Laxness was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.
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