Butterflies in November.pdf
In "Butterflies in November," internationally bestselling author Auour Ava Olafsdottir crafts a "funny, moving, and occasionally bizarre exploration of life's upheavals and reversals" ("Financial Times"). After a day of being dumped--twice--and accidentally killing a goose, a young woman yearns for a tropical vacation far away from the chaos of her life. Instead, her plans are thrown off course 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 black sand beaches, cucumber farms, lava fields, flocks of sheep, an Estonian choir, a falconer, a hitchhiker, and both of her exes desperate for another chance. As she and the boy grow closer, what began as a spontaneous adventure unexpectedly and profoundly changes 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.
International Praise for "Butterflies in November" Named a Best Book of the Year by the "Financial Times," one of the Top 50 Best Winter Reads by "The Independent," and long-listed for "The Independent" Foreign Fiction Prize "A whimsical Icelandic journey . . . there are moving moments of sadness and hilarity." --"The Guardian" "The wintry roads of Iceland--and the metaphorical paths taken and not taken--twist and turn throughout this evocative, humorous novel, beautifully translated. . . . It's the humans here who behave like butterflies, landing briefly before fluttering off again, and so the engrossing narrative is patterned: following loosely the road-trip chronology, the narrator wings her way through memories of flirting and flitting between lovers. . . . The beguiling imagery captures the fragile and fleeting beauty of those loved and lost, as well as the possibilities of self reinvention; of shedding skins, growing wings." --Anita Sethi, "The Observer" "It is as rare to be hit in the heart twice as to win the lottery. Yet that's what happens with the new novel by Auour Ava Olafsdottir." --"Elle" (France) "Quirky and poetic . . . an extraordinary novelist." --Madame Figaro "Funny and wistful . . . What begins as a tragicomic, quirky tale develops into a very moving, layered and optimistic piece of writing." --"Financial Times" "A bright and blissful journey into the darkest month in Iceland. Olafsdottir repeatedly smashes our idea of the everyday, only to sew it back together in a magically surprising and beautiful embroidery. A highly original and very charming novel." --Hallgrimur Helgason, author of "The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning" "Enchanting and moving." --"Paris Match" "You'll recognize the generosity, and the poetic idiosyncrasy that makes Olafsdottir's style so delightful." --"Le Nouvel Observateur" "Sadness and humor coexist beautifully in "Butterflies In November."" --"Metro"
Auour Ava Olafsdottir 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.