Sally Magnusson - The Sealwoman's Gift - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473638976
    • Publication date:08 Feb 2018
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    • ISBN:9781473662599
    • Publication date:08 Feb 2018

The Sealwoman's Gift

the Zoe Ball book club novel of 17th century Iceland

By Sally Magnusson

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

Selected for the Zoe Ball ITV Book Club and BBC Radio 2 Book Club. The debut novel of abduction and slavery set in 17th century Iceland and North Africa by Sunday Times bestselling author and broadcaster Sally Magnusson.

A Zoe Ball ITV Book Club Pick

'Sally Magnusson has taken an amazing true event and created a brilliant first novel. It's an epic journey in every sense: although it's historical, it's incredibly relevant to our world today. We had to pick it' Zoe Ball Book Club

***SHORTLISTED FOR THE HWA DEBUT CROWN 2018 & THE SALTIRE LITERARY AWARD FOR BEST FICTION***

'A remarkable feat of imagination ... I enjoyed and admired it in equal measure' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent 'A powerful tale of Barbary pirates ... richly imagined and energetically told.' Sunday Times - 100 Best Books to Read This Summer
'Engrossing' Sunday Express 'Fascinating ... a really, really good read' BBC R2 Book Club
'The best sort of historical novel' Scotsman 'A lyrical tale' Stylist
'A poetic retelling of Icelandic history' Daily Mail 'Compelling stuff' Good Housekeeping
'An extraordinarily immersive read ... examining themes of motherhood, identity, exile and freedom' Guardian

1627. In a notorious historical event, pirates raided the coast of Iceland and abducted 400 people into slavery in Algiers. Among them a pastor, his wife, and their children.

In her acclaimed debut novel Sally Magnusson imagines what history does not record: the experience of Asta, the pastor's wife, as she faces her losses with the one thing left to her - the stories from home - and forges an ambiguous bond with the man who bought her. Uplifting, moving, and witty, The Sealwoman's Gift speaks across centuries and oceans about loss, love, resilience and redemption.

Chosen for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club (a really, really, good book) and the ITV Zoe Ball/Specsavers Book Club (the quality of the writing is amazing).


'Icelandic history has been brought to extraordinary life... An accomplished and intelligent novel' Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, author of Why Did You Lie?

'Vivid and compelling' Adam Nichols, co-translator of The Travels of Reverend Ólafur Egilsson

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473638983
  • Publication date: 14 Jun 2018
  • Page count: 384
  • Imprint: Two Roads
From the first, it leaps from the page... I found myself absolutely persuaded by Ásta's extraordinary journey from the harsh Icelandic coast to the strange and splendid palaces of Algiers. I enjoyed and admired it in equal measure — Sarah Perry, author of THE ESSEX SERPENT
A remarkable feat of imagination that transports the reader to 17th-century Iceland and Algiers ... an extraordinarily immersive read that emphasises the power of stories, examining themes of motherhood, identity, exile and freedom. Through her deft storytelling, Magnusson takes us on a journey that not only crosses continents, but encompasses tragedy and rich sensuality. — Sian Norris, Guardian
An evocative, striking new novel ... which brings an Icelandic historical tragedy, and in particular, Icelandic woman Asta Egilsson, back to pulsing life. — Stephen McGinty, Times
Moving, accomplished ... Richly imagined and energetically told, The Sealwoman's Gift is a powerful tale of loss and endurance — Sunday Times
Magnusson has certainly done her research, and she has found in the silences of the historical record the space for a novel that moves gracefully between what is known and what must be imagined...Much of the pleasure of reading The Sealwoman's Gift is that of a good yarn well told. — TLS
Fascinating ... a really, really good read — BBC Radio 2 Book Club
Sally Magnusson has turned this grim true story into a page-turner...beautifully told. — Radio Times
Sally Magnusson has taken an amazing true event and created a brilliant first novel. It's an epic journey in every sense: although it's historical, it's incredibly relevant to our world today. — Zoe Ball Book Club
Sally Magnusson writes compellingly of the psychological and physical shocks of being uprooted. Impeccably researched, this is a poetic retelling of Icelandic history. — Daily Mail
Sally Magnusson's wonderfully accomplished first novel is an enthralling mixture of recovered history and the imagining of lost lives. It's a delightful piece of storytelling which is also a story about telling stories ... In short, this is the best sort of historical novel — Scotsman
Icelandic history has been brought to extraordinary life. I was swept up in the story and the vivid plight of people taken away from everything they knew and understood. An accomplished and intelligent novel. — Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, author of WHY DID YOU LIE?
'Sally Magnusson has taken a little-known historical event - the Barbary corsair raid on Iceland in 1627 - and produced a moving story of suffering and redemption. Her tale of Ásta, the Reverend's wife, indomitable survivor of tragedy and heartbreak, is vivid and compelling' — Adam Nichols
A rich, captivating work — Mail on Sunday
Engrossing, atmospheric — Sunday Express
Compelling stuff — Good Housekeeping
A lyrical tale full of the Icelandic stories that Asta tells her children and her kidnappers — Stylist
Remarkably accomplished...The true story behind the novel is almost preposterously epic, yet she brings it to life by inhabiting the minds of her characters — David Robinson, The Scotsman
Sally Magnusson's wonderfully accomplished first novel is an enthralling mixture of recovered history and the imagining of lost lives. It's a delightful piece of storytelling which is also a story about telling stories. — Yorkshire Post
A compelling read...While a historical novel, it also contains contemporary resonances, particularly in the way it examines how different people integrate into a society that is completely foreign to them — Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller
An astonishing novel that will stay with me for a long time...Asta Thorsteinsdottir is a truly remarkable and resourceful heroine — Waterstones Book Blog
An impressive debut from Magnusson who seems to have inherited her Icelandic ancestors' talent for beguiling storytelling — The Herald
Magnusson's prose never falters ... What an exceptional and moving fiction debut this is. — Elle Thinks blog
An engrossing and accomplished novel — The Last Word Book Review
There's something so wonderful about being wholly drawn into a richly imagined historical novel that both illuminates a somewhat forgotten or not-widely-known period of history and gives voice to people who are only glancingly referred to in the history books ... this novel brilliantly engages with many of the heartrending conflicts a woman in Asta's position must have faced while also powerfully illuminating the cultural importance of storytelling and the complicated dynamics of love — Lonesome Reader
Packed with detail and characters, Sally's immersive prose and precise observations entwine you in the action and emotion of this dramatic tale. An absolute triumph of imagination — Press Association
Inspired by the country's literary sagas, the novel's heart-wrenching fiction is built around the bloodied bones of fact, words hauled from written records of the 17th century — Sunday Post
Much more than simply a vividly-imagined historical novel, but a personally touching meditation on the choices we're forced to make in life — Lonesome Reader
Captivating — Scots Magazine
This psychological depth, along with engaging prose and meticulous research into the history on which this novel is based, makes The Sealwoman's Gift another contender for my books of the year — Annethology
Excellent — Dumfries and Galloway Life
Two Roads

Where Memories Go

Sally Magnusson
Authors:
Sally Magnusson

Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre

This is Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre's second novel. Her first, Fourrure, won five literary prizes in France. Le Dernier des Nôtres was the winner of both the Académie Francaise Grand Prix du Roman and the 2016 inaugural Filigranes prize, awarded to the book with the widest general appeal. It was on the longlist for the 2016 Renaudot prize, on the shortlist of four for the 2016 Landerneau prize, longlisted for the Prix de Flore.

Adrian Plass

Adrian Plass is one of the most-loved Christian writers in the UK. He is the bestselling author of The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37¾ - which with its various sequels has sold millions of copies around the world. A somewhat bemused Anglican, Adrian and his wife Bridget live in the north of England travel widely to speak in churches, prisons, schools, and at festivals and literary events in the UK and around the world.

Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams worked as a senior producer for the BBC's flagship Panorama and Newsnight programmes, and as a writer and director of history documentaries. He is the author of two bestselling non-fiction books, The Battle of the Atlantic and D-day to Berlin, and four acclaimed novels, The Interrogator, (shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Silver Dagger Award and the Ellis Peters Award), To Kill a Tsar, (shortlisted for the Ellis Peters Award and the Walter Scott Prize), The Poison Tide and The Suicide Club. You can find out more about Andrew Williams and his writing at www.andrewwilliams.tv and www.hodder.co.uk, and you can follow him on twitter at @AWilliamswriter or on Facebook.

Caleb Carr

Caleb Carr is an American novelist and military historian. He was born in Manhattan, and for the majority of his life he lived on the Lower East Side of that city, spending his summers and many weekends at his family's home in Cherry Plain, New York. In 2000, he purchased his own property, known as Misery Mountain, in Cherry Plain; and in 2006 he moved there permanently. He is the author of ten books, several of which, most notably the historical thriller The Alienist, have become international best-sellers and prize-winners, and his work has been translated into over two dozen languages. In 2015, Paramount Television announced that it would create a series based on The Alienist for Turner Network Television (TNT). He now lives with his Siberian cat, Masha. She is, he says, 'very beautiful and very ferocious.'

Cheryl Della Pietra

CHERYL DELLA PIETRA is a longtime New York City magazine editor, writer, and copy editor. She has published numerous stories in such magazines as Marie Claire, Redbook, and POV Magazine. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, she lived with Hunter S. Thompson in Woody Creek, Colorado, for several months in 1992, where she worked as his assistant. She currently lives in Branford, Connecticut, with her husband and son.cheryldellapietra.comtwitter.com/CherylPietra

Dreda Say Mitchell

Born and bred in the East End of London, Dreda Say Mitchell has seen it all from the inside. After a string of jobs as a waitress, chambermaid and catering assistant she realised her dream of becoming a teacher. During this time she saw a new generation of East Enders grappling with the same problems she had but in an even more violent and unforgiving world. Dreda's books are inspired by the gritty, tough and criminal world she grew up in. She still lives in London's East End. Her debut, RUNNING HOT, was published in 2004 and won the Crime Writers' Association's John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for best first novel. She is the author of eight more novels and is currently writing the FLESH AND BLOOD series, set on 'The Devil's Estate' in Mile End. In 2016, she became a Reading Ambassador for the Reading Agency to promote literacy and libraries.Website: www.dredasaymitchell.com Facebook: /dredasaymitchell Twitter: @DredaMitchell

Fiona Mitchell

Fiona Mitchell is an award-winning writer and has worked as a journalist for many years. She spent almost three years living in Singapore and now lives in London with her husband and daughter. The Maid's Room is her first novel.

Frank White

Frank White, who was born in Manchester in 1927, now lives with his wife June in Lincolnshire, midway between Cleethorpes and Louth. He is a veteran of the wartime British Pacific Fleet. He has contributed essays and short fiction to numerous magazines and is the author of two novels and a short book on the First World War. Other work includes a dozen plays for stage and radio, and material for BBC television. In 2013, realising that the world was no longer full of people who could write at first-hand about the Second World War, he spent the summer working on There Was a Time.

Gavin Extence

Gavin Extence lives in Sheffield with his wife and children. He has written two previous novels, the Richard and Judy bestseller, THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS and THE MIRROR WORLD OF MELODY BLACK, which was described as 'a cross between Bridget Jones' Diary and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' by a Simon Mayo Book Club reviewer.

Jess Richards

Jess Richards was born in Wales in 1972, and grew up too fast in south west Scotland where she lived with her English parents and three brothers, watching the ferry boats going to and from Northern Ireland. She left home at 17, went over the border to England, and lived for a year in Carlisle, before moving to Devon. She gained a first class degree from Dartington College of Arts when she was 21. After brief stints busking and carrying on in both Leeds and London, she moved to Brighton aged 23 where she has grown up a bit slower, and has lived and worked ever since. Her debut novel, SNAKE ROPES, was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Green Carnation Prize.jessrichards.co.uk/www.twitter.com/jessgrr1

John Connolly

John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders. John Connolly's debut - EVERY DEAD THING - introduced the character of Private Investigator Charlie Parker, and swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers. All his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the winner of the 2016 CWA Short Story Dagger for On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier from NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes Vol 2.In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature. He was the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award and the first Irish writer to win an Edgar award. BOOKS TO DIE FOR, which he edited with Declan Burke, was the winner of the 2013 Anthony, Agatha and Macavity awards for Best Non-Fiction work.

Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer is the bestselling author of more than 100 inspirational books, including The Power of Simple Prayer, Approval Addiction, Power Thoughts and Battlefield of the Mind. Joyce's 'Enjoying Everyday Life' radio and television programmes are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences.

Kopano Matlwa

Kopano Matlwa Mabaso is a South African author whose bestselling first novel, Coconut , written when she was 21 years old, went on to in the European Union Literary Award and was joint winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. Her second novel, Spilt Milk made the long list for the 2011 Sunday Times Fiction Prize. Matlwa is also winner of Aspen Ideas Award for medical innovation and is currently reading for a DPhil in Population Health at the University of Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar. Her third novel Evening Primrose will be published by Sceptre in 2017. @kopanomabaso

Laura Carlin

Laura Carlin left school at 16 to work in retail banking and it was only after leaving her job to write full-time that she discovered her passion for storytelling and exploring pockets of history through fiction. She lives in a book-filled house in beautiful rural Derbyshire with her family (and a very naughty cat). When she's not writing she enjoys walking in the surrounding Peak District. The Wicked Cometh is her first novel.

Lindsey Lee Johnson

Lindsey Lee Johnson holds a master of professional writing degree from the University of Southern California and a BA in English from the University of California at Davis. She has served as a tutor and mentor at a private learning center, where her focus has been teaching writing to teenagers. Born and raised in Marin County, she now lives with her husband in Los Angeles.

Lisa McInerney

Lisa McInerney's work has featured in Winter Papers, Stinging Fly, Granta and on BBC Radio 4, and in the anthologies Beyond The Centre, The Long Gaze Back and Town and Country. Her debut novel, The Glorious Heresies, won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016 and the Desmond Elliott Prize. Her second novel, The Blood Miracles, was published by John Murray in April 2017.

Louise Welsh

Louise Welsh is the author of eight novels including The Cutting Room, A Lovely Way to Burn and Death is a Welcome Guest. She has received numerous awards and international fellowships, including an Honorary Doctor of Arts from Edinburgh Napier University and an honorary fellowship from the University of Iowa's International Writing Program. Louise Welsh is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow.

Margot Livesey

Margot Livesey is a New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vogue, and the Atlantic. She is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation and her novel The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Born in Scotland, Livesey currently lives in the Boston area and is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart was one of the 20th century's bestselling and best-loved novelists. She was born in Sunderland, County Durham in 1916, but lived for most of her life in Scotland, a source of much inspiration for her writing. Her first novel, Madam, Will You Talk? was published in 1955 and marked the beginning of a long and acclaimed writing career. In 1971 she was awarded the International PEN Association's Frederick Niven Prize for The Crystal Cave, and in 1974 the Scottish Arts Council Award for one of her children's books, Ludo and the Star Horse. She was married to the Scottish geologist Frederick Stewart, and died in 2014.