Arnar Már Arngrímsson
Original title: Sölvasaga unglings
Publisher: Sögur, Iceland, 2015
Genre: Fiction, young adult
Pages: 273 pages
Sölvi is a fifteen-year-old teenager in Reykjavik who is socially awkward, angry, and lonely. After a school yard altercation with his bully cousin, he withdraws and locks himself away in his room, disappearing into the online world of computer games and porn. Worried and with their own set of problems to deal with, Sölvi’s parents decide to confiscate his phone and send him away for the summer to stay with his grandmother on her farm. He is full fear and loathing and is horrified by the idea of being offline the whole summer. Sölvi finds solace in rap music and keeps a note book with his own lyrics that he won’t show to anyone.
At the farm, he is put to work by his tough-as-nails grandmother who has no time for self-indulgent moping and laziness. He finds a friend in the dog Sólon who follows him around as he sorts things for burning, burying, or donating. In his room, he discovers his dad’s old books and vinyl records that help him pass the time. Feeling misunderstood and broken for so long he surprisingly finds an adult he can relate to in the elderly Tómas on the neighbouring farm. Tómas also has granddaughter staying with him who is both better at football and socialising than Sölvi. Their friendship brings him out of his shell and for a while things are looking up; he plays football with other teens in the area, goes sheep herding, dancing, and even finds a bit of romance.
Ed. Thierry-Magnier in France, Samokat in Russia and Bókadeildin on The Faroese Islands.
Awarded the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize 2016.
Nominated for the Icelandic Literary Prize 2015 in Children and YA category.