Skip to product information
1 of 1

Jón Kalman Stefánsson

Your Absence is Darkness

Your Absence is Darkness

Regular price $26.95 CAD
Regular price Sale price $26.95 CAD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

A spellbinding saga about the inhabitants and inheritors of one rural community, by one of Iceland's most beloved novelists.

A man comes to awareness in a cold church in the Icelandic countryside, not knowing who he is, why he’s there or how he arrived, with a stranger staring mockingly from a few pews back. Startled by the man’s cryptic questions, he leaves—and plunges into a history spanning centuries, a past pressed into his genes that sinks him closer to some knowledge of himself. A city girl is drawn to the fjords by the memory of a blue-eyed gaze, and a generation earlier, a farmer’s wife writes an essay about earthworms that changes the course of lives. A pastor who writes letters to dead poets falls in love with a faraway stranger, and a rock musician, plagued by cosmic loneliness, discovers that his past has been a lie. Faced with the violence of fate and the effects of choices, made and avoided, that cascade between them, each discovers the cost of following the magnetic needle of the heart.

Incandescent and elemental, hope-filled and humane, Your Absence Is Darkness is a comedy about mortality, music, and the strange salve of time, and a spellbinding saga of death, desire, and the perfect agony of star-crossed love.

Additional Info


Number of pages



Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s novels have been nominated three times for the Nordic Council Prize for Literature, and his novel Summer Light, and Then Comes the Night received the Icelandic Prize for Literature in 2005. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious P. O. Enquist Award. He is perhaps best known for his trilogy: Heaven and Hell, The Sorrow of Angels (longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize) and The Heart of Man (winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize). A subsequent novel, Fish Have No Feet, was longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2017.

Philip Roughton is a scholar of Old Norse and medieval literature and an award-winning translator of Icelandic literature, having translated works by numerous writers including Halldór Laxness. He was the winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize for his translation of Jón Kalman Stefánsson's The Heart of Man, and shortlisted for the same prize for About the Size of the Universe.

View full details