Icelandic Author Awarded in France Skip to content

Icelandic Author Awarded in France

Icelandic author Jón Kalman Stefánsson has received an award from the French literary journal Lire for his novel Fiskarnir hafa enga fætur (D’ailleurs, les poissons n’ont pas de pieds,The Fish Have No Feet), which was selected as the best foreign novel published in France this year, RÚV reports.

The award ceremony took place at Grand Palais in Paris last night. Jón was not present, having just returned from Paris, but sent a message to the gathering through his translator, Eric Boury.

He reports that in his message he stated “that literature doesn’t stop bullets once the trigger has been pulled, and words are useless once the bomb has exploded, but I spoke of literature being able to work as bulletproof vests against the extreme speech of hatred and narrow-mindedness and the opportunism of politicians.”

“The French are a great literary nation―even more so than we are, so of course this is an honor.” He adds, “I’m very lucky, I have an outstanding translator, and the publishing firm, Gallimard, is a very large publishing firm, but it’s personal.” Eric Boury has translated numerous Icelandic literary works.

The Icelandic original was one of the highest selling books in Iceland in 2013. It is the story of people who love and suffer, who are searching and running away, a story about pain and loss, violence and a sea full of fish that you are not allowed to fish.

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