Cover image for Butterflies in November
Title:
Butterflies in November
Author:
Auður A. Ólafsdóttir, 1958- , author.
Uniform Title:
Rigning í nóvember. English
Publication Information:
New York : Black Cat, [2013]

©2013
Physical Description:
296 pages ; 21 cm
Summary:
"After a day of being dumped--twice--and accidentally killing a goose, a young woman yearns for a tropical vacation far from the chaos of her life. Instead, her plans are wrecked by her best friend's four-year-old deaf-mute son, thrust into her reluctant care. But when the boy chooses the winning numbers for a lottery ticket, the two of them set off on a road trip across Iceland with a glove compartment stuffed full of their jackpot earnings"--Amazon.com.
General Note:
This translation originally published: London : Pushkin Press, 2013.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780802123183
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Library
Searching...
Searching...
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

* Long-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014 *

"I can't remember the last time I was so enchanted by a novel like I am by Butterflies in November . Zany, surprising, full of twists and turns, it left me breathless. I just love this book." --Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle and The Obituary Writer

After a day of being dumped--twice--and accidentally killing a goose, a young woman yearns for a tropical vacation far from the chaos of her life. Instead, her plans are wrecked by her best friend's four-year-old deaf-mute son, thrust into her reluctant care. But when the boy chooses the winning numbers for a lottery ticket, the two of them set off on a road trip across Iceland with a glove compartment stuffed full of their jackpot earnings. Along the way, they encounter blacksand beaches, cucumber farms, lava fields, flocks of sheep, an Estonian choir, a falconer, a hitchhiker, and both of her exes desperate for another chance. What begins as a spontaneous adventure will unexpectedly and profoundly change the way she views her past and charts her future.

Butterflies in November is a blackly comic, charming, and uplifting tale of friends and lovers, motherhood, and self-discovery.


Author Notes

Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir was born in Iceland in 1958, studied art history in Paris and has lectured in History of Art at the University of Iceland. Her novel, The Greenhouse , won the DV Culture Award for literature, was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Award, and translated into twenty-two languages. She currently lives and works in Reykjavik.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

"One of the things that characterizes a bad relationship is when people start feeling an obligation to have a child together." So says the unnamed narrator of Olafsdotti's (The Greenhouse) novel, a woman dumped twice in the same day: first by her lover, because she will not commit to him, and then by her husband, because she will not commit to domestic life-particularly the idea of having children. Luck answers her call for change when she wins the lottery. However, as soon as she plans an isolated vacation in a faraway bungalow, she ends up accepting temporary responsibility for her friend's child, a four-year-old deaf-mute boy. She and the boy set off on a road trip through Iceland where they kill various animals; pass by a lava field, a cucumber farm, and a Wild West motel; and cross paths with a cow portraitist, an ex-lover, and, maybe, a future lover. Olafsdotti's novel is outlandish, yet the protagonist's conviction is plausible enough for the circumstances to feel authentic. The story explores what freedom really means when romantic and familial bonds are pushed aside. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Within a short time span, a young woman in Iceland has a series of life-changing events: her husband and her lover both dump her on the same day, she wins two successive lotteries, and her friend's four-year-old disabled son falls under her care. The convergence of these events leads her to take a journey around Iceland's Ring Road. Along the way, she and her traveling companion have numerous strange and interesting encounters with locals and animals of various kinds. Initially off-putting because the unnamed narrator and most of the other adult characters are so self-centered, this novel by award-winning Icelandic novelist olafsdottir (The Greenhouse) hits its stride once the odyssey begins, becoming a funny and bizarre travelog of Iceland's unique culture and landscape. VERDICT Much of the humor comes from the (often unsuccessful) attempts of people throughout the country to cater to the tourism industry. The many coincidences become plausible once you realize how isolated and sparse is the population of Iceland, and, eventually you give in to the quirky spirit of the book and its heroine. With a bonus appendix of recipes for food mentioned in the text. [See Prepub Alert, 6/8/14.]-Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.