On Time and Water
Longlisted for the 2022 National Translation Award o Finalist for the 2021 Nordic Council Literature Prize o A Winnipeg Free Press Top Read of 2021
Asked by a leading climate scientist why he wasn't writing about the greatest crisis mankind has faced, Andri Snær Magnason, one of Iceland's most beloved writers and public intellectuals, protested: he wasn't a specialist, he said. It wasn't his field. But the scientist persisted: "If you cannot understand our scientific findings and present them in an emotional, psychological, poetic or mythological context," he told him, "then no one will really understand the issue, and the world will end."
Based on interviews and advice from leading glacial, ocean, climate, and geographical scientists, and interwoven with personal, historical, and mythological stories, Magnason's resulting response is a rich and compelling work of narrative nonfiction that illustrates the reality of climate change and offers hope in the face of an uncertain future. Moving from reflections on how one writes an obituary for a glacier to exhortation for a heightened understanding of human time and our obligations to one another, throughout history and across the globe, On Time and Water is both deeply personal and globally minded: a travel story, a world history, a desperate plea to live in harmony with future generations--and is unlike anything that has yet been published on the current climate emergency.
About this Author
Andri Snær Magnason is an Icelandic writer born in Reykjavik. He is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays and documentary films. His book LoveStar won the Philip K. Dick special citation in 2014 and Le Grand prix de l'Imaginaire in France 2016, and his children's book, The Story of the Blue Planet was the first children's book to win the Icelandic literary award and has been published in 32 languages. The Casket of Time has received rave reviews in the New York Times and his book Dreamland: a Self Help Manual for a Frightened Nation has contributed to a new energy policy in Iceland and the vision of the Highland National Park in the Central Highlands of Iceland. Andri Snær Magnason ran for president in Iceland in 2016 and came third in the election.
Lytton Smith is a poet, professor, and translator from the Icelandic. His most recent translations include works by Kristin Ómarsdóttir, Jón Gnarr, Ófeigur Sigurðsson, and Guðbergur Bergsson. His most recent poetry collection, The All-Purpose Magical Tent, was published by Nightboat. Having earned his MFA and PhD from Columbia University, he currently teaches at SUNY Geneseo.
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