'A potent, atmospheric story of creative frustration and fulfilment. I loved the wry, tender voice of Ólafsdóttir's narrator. I'm now going to read all of her other novels' Megan Hunter, author of The Harpy
'Such great writing here, poetic and raw in places... Only a great book can make you feel you're really there, a thousand miles and a generation away. I loved it' Kit de Waal, author of My Name is Leon
Born in a remote part of Iceland, and named after a volcano, Hekla always knew she wanted to be a writer. She heads for Reyjkavik, with a Remington typewriter and a manuscript hidden in her suitcase, hoping to make it in the nation of poets.
But this is the 1960s, and Hekla soon discovers that there's more demand for a beauty queen than a woman writer in this conservative, male-dominated world. Along with her friend Jón John, a gay man who dreams of working in the theatre, she soon learns that she must conceal her true self to have any hope of success.
But the world outside is changing, and Hekla knows she must escape to find freedom abroad, whatever must be left behind.