Twice In A Lifetime
Agust Borgþor Sverrisson
Translated from the Icelandic by Maria Helga Guðmundsdóttir and Anna Benassi
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'The stories in this collection brilliantly draw a world through brief details and coincidence.'
- The Manchester Review. Read the full review here
A woman receives a postcard from a married man she's never met, addressed, it would seem, to his mistress...
A successful business man tries to scheme his way out of a paternity test by offering his less fortunate brother a deal he cannot refuse...
A teenage boy escapes the grief-stricken atmosphere of his home, in the wake of his brother's death, by taking refuge in the immaculate violence of American horror movies...
Each of Sverrisson’s stories offers an intricate study in the precariousness of life, the frailty of every fleeting opportunity. Characters are scarred by simple, careless actions. Lives turn on the smallest events: a child steals cash from his father for a pretend-money game and unwittingly throws his brother’s entire life off balance; a man has a one-night stand with a married woman and only realises the consequences years later; an overbearing girlfriend sends her cynical boyfriend a letter that stops him in his tracks. Yet amid the anonymity of urban life, the random accidents and mistaken identities that make up Sverrisson’s stories, there can also be found an abiding faith in the unexpected gifts that chance throws up: synchronicities, coincidences, moments in time seen from new perspectives that offer fresh secrets, and, occasionally, even a second chance.
'A splendid collection... Sverrisson is a great author who cunningly masters the spare form of the short story.'
— Páll Baldvin Baldvinsson
About the Author
Ágúst Borgþór Sverrisson has published five collections of short stories - Twice in a Lifetime being his latest - plus a short-novel, Hliðarspor (Sidestep) in 2007. He is widely regarded as one of Iceland’s most accomplished practitioners of the short form. His stories have been translated into English and German, and two of those featured in this collection, 'Disappearing into the World' and 'The First Day of the Fourth Week', are high-school set texts in his home country. 'Disappearing into the World' won the Strik.is prize in 2001. Agust has worked as a journalist, copywriter and translator and is a well-known blogger and commentator in Iceland on literature and politics.
With the support of the Culture Programme (2007-2013) of the European Union.
This book has been produced with the financial support of Bókmenntasjóður, The Icelandic Literature Fund.
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