The year is 1918. The First World War has ended, Iceland has gained independence, and the passenger ship from Denmark imported the Spanish flu to this island country. The major eruption of the Katla volcano has caused a microclimate crisis. Iceland experienced the coldest winter in its history,
and in the deserted Reykjavík, only the wailing of ambulance sirens and the death rattles of the sick could be heard during those cold days. The country was plagued by poverty, hunger, and disease, and the social life of Reykjavík was reduced to visiting the only two cinemas in the city. This is the story of the greatest pandemic in history from the perspective of a boy, banished from his own body and society.
The main character of the novel is sixteen-year-old Máni Steinn, a gay young man living in a society where homosexuality is unacceptable. Máni loves movies and goes to the cinema daily because there he feels safe and hidden from the rest of the world. In the difficult post-war times that befell Reykjavík, he struggles with the decision of whether to withdraw into the imaginary world of film or to engage with the society that has cruelly rejected him. While people lock themselves in their homes out of fear of the plague, Máni finally feels free. He joins the fight against the pandemic and selflessly helps his fellow citizens.
With his wondrous storytelling ability, Sjón weaves a story about life and death, reality and imagination, secrets and discoveries, outcasts and those who do not fit in, rejection and togetherness.
Moonstone has won the most prestigious Icelandic literary awards and has been translated into 19 languages. In 2023, Sjón received the esteemed Nordic Council Literature Prize awarded by the Swedish Academy.
„Ovo je djelo savršena književna minijatura, poput dijamanta, u kojem je
svaki odlomak precizno izbrušen, svaka rečenica pomno ispolirana.“