by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
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Pub Date 06 Dec 2022 | Archive Date 06 Dec 2022
Grove Atlantic, Grove Press, Black Cat
From winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize and the Icelandic Literary Prize, Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, comes a dazzling novel about a family of midwives set in the run-up to Christmas in Iceland
In the days leading up to Christmas, Dómhildur delivers her 1,922nd baby. Beginnings and endings are her family trade; she comes from a long line of midwives on her mother’s side and a long line of undertakers on her father’s. She even lives in the apartment that she inherited from her grandaunt, a midwife with a unique reputation for her unconventional methods.
As a terrible storm races towards Reykjavík, Dómhildur discovers decades worth of letters and manuscripts hidden amongst her grandaunt’s clutter. Fielding calls from her anxious meteorologist sister and visits from her curious new neighbour, Dómhildur escapes into her grandaunt’s archive and discovers strange and beautiful reflections on birth, death, and human nature.
With her singular warmth and humor, in Animal Life Ólafsdóttir gives us a beguiling novel that comes direct from the depths of an Icelandic winter, full of hope for spring.