Salka Valka

Salka Valka

Halldor Laxness

  • $23.00
    Unit price per 
Shipping calculated at checkout.

"This is a remarkable achievement and will hopefully lead to a revival of interest in an oft-overlooked literary genius." – Publishers Weekly, starred review

A fresh translation of Nobel Prize–winning author Halldór Laxness's modernist masterpiece, Salka Valka.

A feminist coming of age tale, an elegy to the plight of the working class and the corrosive effects of social and economic inequality, and a poetic window into the arrival of modernity in a tiny industrial town, Salka Valka is a novel of epic proportions, living and breathing with its expansive cast of characters, filled with tenderness, humor, and remarkable pathos.

On a mid-winter night, an eleven-year-old Salvör and her unmarried mother Sigurlína disembark at the remote, run-down fishing village of Óseyri, where life is "lived in fish and consists of fish." The two women struggle to make their way amidst the domineering, salt-worn men of the town and their unsolicited attention, and, after Sigurlína's untimely death, Salvör pays for her funeral and walks home alone, precipitating her coming of age as a daring, strong-willed young woman who chops off her hair, earns her own wages, educates herself through political and philosophical texts, and, most significantly, becomes an advocate for the town's working class, ultimately organizing a local chapter of the seamen's union.

“Nowhere in Laxness’s novels is the conflict between the shining ideal of socialism and the dignity of individual people on plainer display than in Salka Valka… It never even occurs to Salka that the bastards might grind her down.” –- Salvatore Scibona, The New Yorker

Product details

ISBN-13: 9781953861245

Number of pages: 630

Format: Paperback / softback Trade paperback (US)

Imprint: Archipelago

English en