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Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland por…
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Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland (original 2012; edição 2013)

por Sarah Moss (Autor)

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2351689,963 (3.83)64
Novelist Sarah Moss had a childhood dream of moving to Iceland, sustained by a wild summer there when she was nineteen. In 2009, she saw an advertisement for a job at the University of Iceland and applied on a whim, despite having two young children and a comfortable life in an English cathedral city. The resulting adventure was shaped by Iceland's economic collapse, which halved the value of her salary, by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull and by a collection of new friends, including a poet who saw the only bombs fall on Iceland in 1943, a woman who speaks to elves and a chef who guided Sarah's family around the intricacies of Icelandic cuisine. Sarah was drawn to the strangeness of Icelandic landscape, and explored hillsides of boiling mud, volcanic craters and fissures, and the unsurfaced roads that link remote farms and fishing villages in the far north. She walked the coast path every night after her children were in bed, watching the northern lights and the comings and goings of migratory birds. As the weeks and months went by, the children settled in local schools and Sarah got to know her students and colleagues, she and her family learned new ways to live.… (mais)
Membro:pgildea
Título:Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland
Autores:Sarah Moss (Autor)
Informação:Counterpoint (2013), Edition: Illustrated, 368 pages
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Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland por Sarah Moss (2012)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 16 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
There's a lot of parallels to our own move to Iceland but it's different enough that I learned a bunch and felt taken for a ride, not spied upon. ( )
  jamestomasino | Sep 11, 2021 |
Sarah Moss had spent a summer in her teens touring Iceland with a friend. She fell in love with the people and the physical landscape. So, when in 2009 she saw a job as a lecturer at an Icelandic college, she packed up her two kids and husband and committed for a year.

She had expected to experience the most egalitarian democracy in Europe. However, she arrived during the collapse of Iceland’s economy due to banker’s overextending themselves. This, of course, changed many of the things she experienced – including having her salary worth about half of what she expected, making it a challenge to make ends meet.

Sarah Moss is a wordsmith and I loved her account of her year – the day to day challenges of living and raising children in a country with winters without sunrises and extreme cold, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption, her friend’s participation in the ‘Pots and Pans’ uprising and her explorations of the culture.

There were many topics that you’d expect her to explore – such as knitting and the hidden folk (faeries).

There were also many surprises for her – including the complete lack of Icelandic grown fruits and very few vegetables, causing her to explore the traditional Icelandic cooking. Other unexpected aspects included the cars Icelanders drive, and the total lack of opportunity to buy things second hand - which was the way she had planned to furnish her family’s apartment for the year.

Highly recommended – and I’ll definitely continue reading Sarah Moss. ( )
  streamsong | Apr 9, 2021 |
I love Sarah Moss and I've never been to Iceland, even though I'd love to go, so I was really excited to read this. Unlike the travel books by bold, independent travellers, this book has a different perspective - a middle-aged British professor moving to Iceland with her family following a teenage trip when she fell in love with the country.

But, I honestly wonder: how is it possible that in the age of google people really go somewhere for a year and do not do the research. Even if I haven't been to Iceland, I was surprised Moss didn't know about some of the things about Iceland that seem to be pretty pedestrian "common knowledge". I am not sure if that is just a literary device to make this whole experience sound more novel or genuine proof of how much people do get isolated in their "ivory towers". It seemed more the latter, and many of the remarks the author makes were kind of detached and "classist".

What is unique is that Sarah Moss, similar to her fiction, has this sombre, intellectual approach to cultural adaptation and being "a stranger in a strange land". Her year abroad is not a light-hearted, humorous adventure. She digs deep into the topics that fascinate her (the amount of detail makes this a tedious read at times), but there is this constant undertone of anxiety throughout the book.

What I found disappointing was that there was very little (if any) magic of moving to a new and strange place, especially the one like Iceland. I didn't feel that spark anywhere and this whole experience seemed to be more like a year of merely surviving and just dealing with the "weirdness" of the local folk.

The last quarter or so of the book was a little bit more joyful but too late to change the overall feel. It wasn't a bad read, but I simply expected something else. ( )
  ZeljanaMaricFerli | Sep 8, 2020 |
Travel memoir, perfectly well written but describing a somewhat odd society in Iceland, making it seem rather unattractive - though it is a wonderful country in my experience, well worth a visit. ( )
  DramMan | Jun 5, 2020 |
Iceland is one of the youngest islands on the planet, given that it is being created as I write. It is also a land that has few trees, stark landscapes and is populated by a close knit community.

Mos fell in love with the country on a holiday and decides to take the plug and move there to take a position at the university for a year. As she finds her feet, she discovers that the people are as unique as the landscape around. It is tough to settle in at first, as very few properties are available to rent. As her and the family find their feet they start to settle in.

Through her contacts at the university, she starts to meet the people and the characters of the country. She meets a lady who claims to see the hidden people, the elves and trolls from the sagas. The people knit constantly, and she tries to take it up, but ends up crocheting.

She is there at the time of the credit crunch, where there is violence on the streets for the first time ever, and when the volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupts. The Icelanders take it all in their stride.

It is a beautifully written book. Moss manages to get across the intensity of the country, and some of the frustrations with the language and the way that they do things. Unlike most travel books that are transitory, she is living there are is part of the community; her respect for the country and love of the natural phenomena such as the aurora, comes across really powerfully in the book. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 16 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
.... Moss is wry and a very good companion. She tells her students "home is the paper on which travel writes", and her book is as perceptive of the southern English middle-classes, as it is of Icelanders. Early on she lists the essentials the family takes with them as they head north: capers, olive oil, three kinds of paprika, pomegranate syrup. Pomegranate syrup? Well, Victorian explorers took napkin rings and embroidered bedroom slippers, which objects "were found scattered across the snow with their bones. At least the manifestations of English metropolitan middle-class identity are edible". ....
adicionada por marq | editarThe Guardian, Kathleen Jamie (Nov 2, 2012)
 
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Novelist Sarah Moss had a childhood dream of moving to Iceland, sustained by a wild summer there when she was nineteen. In 2009, she saw an advertisement for a job at the University of Iceland and applied on a whim, despite having two young children and a comfortable life in an English cathedral city. The resulting adventure was shaped by Iceland's economic collapse, which halved the value of her salary, by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull and by a collection of new friends, including a poet who saw the only bombs fall on Iceland in 1943, a woman who speaks to elves and a chef who guided Sarah's family around the intricacies of Icelandic cuisine. Sarah was drawn to the strangeness of Icelandic landscape, and explored hillsides of boiling mud, volcanic craters and fissures, and the unsurfaced roads that link remote farms and fishing villages in the far north. She walked the coast path every night after her children were in bed, watching the northern lights and the comings and goings of migratory birds. As the weeks and months went by, the children settled in local schools and Sarah got to know her students and colleagues, she and her family learned new ways to live.

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