The year is 1635. Iceland is a world darkened by superstition, poverty and cruelty. Men of science marvel over a unicorn’s horn, poor folk worship the Virgin in secret and both books and men are burnt. Jónas Pálmason, a poet and self-taught healer, has been condemned to exile for heretical conduct, having fallen foul of the local magistrate. Banished to a barren island, Jónas recalls his exorcism of a walking corpse on the remote Snjafjoll coast, the frenzied massacre of innocent Basque whalers at the hands of local villagers, and the deaths of three of his children.
From the Mouth of the Whale is a magical evocation of an enlightened mind and a vanished age.
Sjón is a celebrated Icelandic poet and novelist. His novels have been translated into twenty-five languages and include From the Mouth of the Whale and The Whispering Muse (both by Telegram). Sjón won the Nordic Council Literary Prize, the equivalent of the Man Booker Prize, for The Blue Fox and "Best Icelandic Novel" for The Whispering Muse in 2005. Also a songwriter, he has written lyrics for Björk, including for her eight studio album, Biophilia.