by Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir
(Amazon Crossing, March 2022)
A new English translation of Iceland’s Internationally bestselling novel, KARITAS UNTITLED echoes the struggles and dreams of women everywhere. Author Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir, one of Iceland’s most acclaimed and popular writers, is renowned for her novels highlighting the lives of Icelandic women and the disparity between their aspirations and their predestined roles. She talks to Authorlink about the book, her love of Nordic history, and the struggles of being creative while also being a woman and a mom.
Originally published in Iceland as Karitas án titils in 2004, this historical novel about a young woman growing up in early 20th century rural Iceland has powerful feminist undertones. Using her own passion for art as an outlet, Baldursdóttir explores equal rights for Icelandic women through her painter artist character, Karitas. Her story, based on tales of her great-grandmother, struck a chord with Iceland’s readers, reaching national recognition and earning Baldursdóttir a nomination for the Nordic Council Literary prize in 2005.
The story is the first of her works to be translated for English audiences.
The bestselling author has written numerous novels, including Street of the Mothers; Chaos on Canvas, and Seagull’s Laughter, which was adapted for the stage and also into an award-winning film. She received her degree in 1991 from the University of Iceland and has also worked as a teacher and a journalist.
Editor’s Note: A word of caution. Don’t let the odd spelling of names or somewhat unusual formatting (such as collective viewpoint and shifts from first to third person omniscient) deter you from steeping yourself in Karita’s life. This exquisite novel is a must for any reader who might be intrigued by Iceland and Icelandic culture, and by the mutual challenges that face women throughout the world. It is the kind of character-driven book that will walk around in your head long after you’ve closed the covers.–Doris Booth
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