1992 Fríða Á. Sigurðardóttir, Iceland: Meðan nóttin líður

1992 Fríða Á. Sigurðardóttir, Island: Meðan nóttin líður
Jóhann Páll Valdimarsson

About the author

Fríða Áslaug Sigurðardóttir was born in Hesteyri in Sléttuhreppur. She graduated with a degree in Icelandic and literature in 1979. Before that, she worked as a librarian and teacher. She made her debut as a writer in 1980 with a collection of short stories and subsequently published a number of novels and collections of short stories over the years. She was also a translator, having, for instance, translated works by Doris Lessing and Jean M. Auel into Icelandic.

About the winning piece

Night Watch can, on the face of it, be read as a family saga, but it also questions its own genre, its form being conventional least of all. Nina, the narrator of the novel, is, on the surface, a successful businesswoman in the advertising world. But she is also another woman harbouring the memories of the lives of four generations of women when she is sitting at her mother’s deathbed. These two levels of experience combine in Nina’s story in a subjective and fragmented way, but, at the same time, her memories and experience explain the contrasts between old female roles and modern ways of living.

Meðan nóttin líður (Night Watch)

Published by: Forlagið 

Publication year: 1990

This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say

The novel is at once a bold, innovative and poetic beauty. The work goes back into the past searching for life values which have a message for our time. It takes place partly in the magnificent nature of northwest Iceland and the description of the countryside is part of the text's magic. The book does not attempt to give the illusion that we can fully understand our ancestors’ reality. It questions while also being experimental. In this book, Fríða Á. Sigurðardóttir lyrically describes our need for history and narrates and illustrates how difficult it is to find to trace a single truth about life and art.