One of the beauties of writing is the complete freedom it provides. This year’s All-Campus Author Yrsa Sigurdadottir’s novel My Soul to Take is unrestricted in this same way as it breaches the constraints of labels. A mystery novel, but with parts spanning comedy, women’s issues, and politics, Sigurdadottir’s novel is a page-turner that readers cannot put down. On Monday, November 5th, the Icelandic author held a lecture and reading in Eddy Theater on Chatham University’s campus. Those in attendance were able to hear about the story from her perspective, and gain insight into her work as a writer. During the public reading on Monday, she read the prologue. Before, I had read those same words silently. When Sigurdadottir read them, the words came alive. The story was given a tangible edge illuminated by her discussion.
My own experience with My Soul to Take has been transformative. It has allowed me to go beyond the facts of Iceland, and into a deeper familiarity that was brought on by Sigurdadottir’s lecture. Now, I know more about the country’s people and culture. When Sigurdadottir spoke on Monday evening, she bridged the gap between the United States and Iceland. She clarified our comments, answered questions, and shared with us her perspective. At the end of her visit, she left me thinking of her country and people. I can still taste the shark and cod liver from Monday’s reception.
By Rosemary Davies