Nominated by:

Reykjavík City Library, Iceland

Publisher of nominated edition:

World Editions, The Netherlands


Steinunn Sigurðardóttir      

Translated from the original Icelandic by Rory McTurk

2017 Longlist

While examining the tumour of one of his patients, Martin Montag, a cancer specialist in Berlin, finds that its shape, resembling a yo-yo, brings back memories of a traumatic incident he suffered as a child. A drama of betrayal and friendship unfolds, intriguingly told by one of Iceland’s best-known contemporary writers.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Steinunn Sigurðardóttir is a highly acclaimed Icelandic novelist and poet. After working as a journalist and radio reporter she became a full-time writer in 1982. As one of the most frequently translated living Icelandic writers, she has contributed greatly to the international reputation of contemporary Icelandic literature. Steinunn Sigurðardóttir has served on the jury of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and as vice-chair of the Icelandic Writers’ Association. Her novel Yo-yo was awarded the Icelandic Bookseller’s award and has been translated into German and French.

Librarian’s Comments

Yo-yo is a novel of duality and trauma. Sigurðardóttir expertly blends a very modern examination of trauma, where the past won’t stay past, with the gothic motif of the doppelganger, where the person won’t stay in person. In Sigurðardóttir’s confident storytelling, these become a way of looking at romantic, familial and friendly relationships affected by outside (and outsized) forces.

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