2005 Sjón, Iceland: Skugga-Baldur

2005 Sjón, Island: Skugga-Baldur

About the author

Sjón, original name Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson, was born in Iceland, making his literary debut already at the age of 16 with his first collection of poems, later followed by another seven. He has written five novels as well as songs for Icelandic singer Björk.

About the winning piece

The Blue Fox is a novel about an Icelandic pastor and a fox hunt. Sjón makes use of the Icelandic folktale to tell his story. One of the principal characters is the pastor Baldur Skuggason. He has an evil, dark side to his character. Another key figure is the strange offspring of a cat and a fox following the story – Sjón’s style has elements of a very unique Icelandic sense of humour. The Blue Fox is a short novel with a few sections. Some pages only consist of a single written line, surrounded by large white surfaces calling to mind the Icelandic expanse. This concreteness can be said to balance on the line between prose and poetry. 'Skugga-Baldur' is also a contemporary novel which brings up some of today's ethical questions. Are the weak, deformed babies with developmental disorders welcome in a world where they could have been discarded already prior to birth?

Skugga-Baldur (The Blue Fox)

Published by: Bjartur 

Publication year: 2005

This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say

"The Blue Fox" balances skilfully on the border between poetry and prose. The novel weaves themes from Icelandic sagas, and romantic narrative art into a fascinating story in which present day ethical questions stand out.