I cannot write much of anything today for reasons relating to both my arms which are undergoing extreme pain and numbness. I can best describe the condition by likening it to feeling as my arms are undergoing labor contractions. Not exactly a nice feeling and I will become very upset if my arms give birth to baby arms. Especially since I am in my late forties and these baby arms would probably have Downs syndrome. But this scenario is unlikely to happen as I have been diagnosed with one of two things, either an extreme allergy to mosquito bites I got on my vacation or a disc prolapse in the neck. I must mention that in Iceland we do not have mosquitoes so some of us react rather badly when bitten. And we have no cockroaches either. Most Icelanders are pretty afraid of bugs and lizards as a result, I am not since I grew up in Texas and have seen my share of creepy crawlies.
But anyway, I am now on steroids in the case it is an allergy and am scheduled to have an MRI scan to see if the discs in my neck are shot to hell. The steroids are helping so hopefully it is not the disc thing since that requires physiotherapy and/or surgery which has to be done from the front of the neck although it involves the spine which was in the back of the neck last time I checked. In addition, this operation would leave me with a scar that would really increase the head transplant look I have spent the last two weeks trying to get rid of.
But my medical history is not all that interesting so I will tell you the one newsworthy thing that has happened to me since I returned on Monday. Much to my joy my last book “I Remember You” just won the Icelandic Crime Book of the Year Award and will be Iceland’s nomination for the Nordic Glass Key Award. This is what the judging panel had to say about the book:
In this book, Yrsa Sigurdardottir shows how well she handles the most important aspects of a good crime novel: brilliant plotting and ever increasing suspense.
Furthermore, Yrsa shows that she is fully capable of playing with the genre of crime fiction itself in a creative way and not entering the formula realm sometimes associated with the genre. Yrsa utilizes the heritage of Icelandic literature, working with ancient folk tales, mainly old ghost stories that originate from the isolation and darkness aptly described in the book. As she‘s done before, Yrsa uses an Icelandic environment to create a mystical atmosphere, and mixes it with motives derived from the European horror tradition. Thus, Yrsa opens the door for a literary genre that has hardly any tradition within Iceland: the horror story.
One of the main things characterizing Icelandic crime fiction is how it mirrors Icelandic society. In I Remember You, the financial crisis is used as the background and in this respect it is interesting that the main subjects of the book are betrayal, anger, revenge and the vicious circle of fear and violence.
Thus, Yrsa‘s work can be interpreted in numerous ways, in addition to being multifaceted and using the Icelandic literary heritage in a modern way. All threads come together in a convincing plot and the forte of the book is that Yrsa succeeds in doing what is an absolute must in all accomplished crime novels and thrillers: firmly grabbing the reader's attention and not letting go until the very end.
I apologize for using the panel’s words for self-promotion but I am just so happy and pleased that I could not resist. And with pregnant arms I must make the most of the good stuff life throws my way.
Lastly, I can only hope that I will not be drug tested, being on steroids I would probably be disqualified and stripped of the prize. Pride comes before a fall.
Yrsa - Wednesday