“Dark literary confections” palatable to Danish media
The short story collection Milli trjánna (Between the Trees) by Gyrðir Elíasson, this year's recipient of the Nordic Council's Prize for literature, was recently published in Denmark. To date, the book, which was translated by Eric Skyum-Nielsen and published by Torgard, has received glowing reviews.
Politiken's reviewer awards five stars out of a possible six, commending the work's “great dramas beneath a calm style.”Fyens Stiftstidende's is less restrained in its language: “What a book! Death, omens and horrors combine with the banal everyday in the collection's 47 short stories. […] Between the Trees is a quick read. It should, however, be imbibed in small doses, as each of these incisive stories merits reflection.” Jyllands-Posten, in its turn, metes out five stars: “It is easy to become immersed in Gyrðir's dark and bitter literary confections,” reads the review. “One wants to taste more.” Berlingske's review gives top marks to the collection: “With Between the trees, wonderfully translated by Erik Skyum-Nielsen, Gyrðir Elíasson has produced a short story collection in which Icelandic landscapes, penetrating studies on the nature of loneliness and supernatural elements are perfectly joined together with outstanding narrative skill […] Gyrðir deserves the prize.”
Gyrðir received the 2011 Nordic Council's Prize for Literature for Between the Trees. Three of his books will be published in German on the occasion of Iceland's year as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book: Gangandi íkorni (Wandering Squirrel) and the poetry book Nokkur almenn orð um kulnun solar (A Few General Remarks on the Cooling of the Sun) were published last winter, and the novel Sandárbókin (The Book of Sandá River) is due out this week. Shortly before Gyrðir received the Nordic Council's prize, we conducted an interview with him, which can be found here.