Hotel Silence (Paperback)
Grove Press, Black Cat, 9780802127501, 288pp.
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Winner of the Icelandic Literary Prize, Hotel Silence is a delightful and heartwarming new novel from Auour Ava Olafsdottir, a writer who "upends expectations" (New York Times). Told with grace, insight, and humor, this is the story of one man's surprising mid-life adventure of self-discovery that leads him to find a new reason for being. Jonas Ebeneser is a handy DIY kind of man with a compulsion to fix things, but he can't seem to fix his own life. On the cusp of turning fifty, divorced, adrift, he's recently discovered he is not the biological father of his daughter, Gudrun Waterlily, and he has sunk into an existential crisis, losing all will to live. As he visits his senile mother in a nursing home, he secretly muses on how, when, and where to put himself out of his misery. To prevent his only daughter from discovering his body, Jonas decides it's best to die abroad. Armed with little more than his toolbox and a change of clothes, he flies to an unnamed country where the fumes of war still hover in the air. He books a room at the sparsely occupied Hotel Silence, and there he comes to understands the depths of other people's scars while beginning to see his wounds in a new light. A celebration of life's infinite possibilities, of transformations and second chances, Hotel Silence is a rousing story of a man, a community, and a path toward regeneration from the depths of despair.
About the Author
Auour Ava Olafsdottir was born in Iceland in 1958, studied art history in Paris and has lectured in the history of art. She has published a poetry collection and several novels, including Butterflies in November, which was longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and The Greenhouse, which was translated into twenty-two languages, won the DV Culture Award for Literature, and was a finalist for the Nordic Council Literature Award. She currently lives and works in Reykjavik as the director of the University of Iceland's Art Museum.