“I live here alone in a garage, together with a laptop computer and an old hand grenade. It’s pretty cozy.”Baker & Taylor
Herra Björnsson is at the beginning of the end of her life. Oh, she has two weeks left, maybe three—she has booked her cremation appointment, at a crispy 1,000 degrees, so it won’t be long. But until then she has her cigarettes, a World War II–era weapon, some Facebook friends, and her memories to sustain her.
And what a life this remarkable eighty-year-old narrator has led. In the internationally bestselling and award-winning Woman at 1,000 Degrees, which has been published in fourteen languages, noted Icelandic novelist Hallgrímur Helgason has created a true literary original. From Herra’s childhood in the remote islands of Iceland, where she was born the granddaughter of Iceland’s first president, to teen years spent living by her wits alone in war-torn Europe while her father fought on the side of the Nazis, to love affairs on several continents, Herra Björnsson moved Zelig-like through the major events and locales of the twentieth century. She wed and lost husbands, had children, fled a war, kissed a Beatle, weathered the Icelandic financial crash, and mastered the Internet. She has experienced luck and betrayal and upheaval and pain, and—with a bawdy, uncompromising spirit—she has survived it all.
Now, as she awaits death in a garage in Reykjavík, she shows us a woman unbowed by the forces of history. Each part of Herra’s story is a poignant piece of a puzzle that comes together in the final pages of this remarkable, unpredictable, and enthralling novel.
An octogenarian living out her final days in a garage with a laptop and a hand grenade reflects on her life as the daughter of a prominent political family in idyllic western Iceland.Baker
"A spirited eighty-year-old Icelandic woman reflects on her life as she lies alone in a garage in Reykjavik, waiting to die"--
An octogenarian living out her final days in a garage with a laptop and a hand grenade reflects on her life as the daughter of a prominent political family in idyllic western Iceland, who in the aftermath of her father's fateful alliance with the Nazis is forced to rely on her wits to survive in the United States, Argentina and a native Iceland vastly changed by technology and economic crashes.