Shortlisted for The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize 2013
Shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2012
'Sjón's novels are brilliant collisions of history and fable, psychology and fantasy' Chris Power, Guardian
The year is 1635. Iceland is a world darkened by superstition, poverty and cruelty. Men of science marvel over a unicorn s horn, poor folk worship the Virgin in secret and both books and men are burnt. Jónas Pálmason, a poet and self-taught healer, has been condemned to exile for heretical conduct, having fallen foul of the local magistrate. Banished to a barren island, Jónas recalls his exorcism of a walking corpse on the remote Snjáfjöll coast, the frenzied massacre of innocent Basque whalers at the hands of local villagers, and the deaths of three of his children.
From the Mouth of the Whale is a magical evocation of an enlightened mind and a vanished age.