Names for the Sea

Names for the Sea : Strangers in Iceland

3.69 (2,744 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
3.69 (2,744 ratings by Goodreads)
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At the height of the financial crisis in 2009, Sarah Moss and her husband moved with their two small children to Iceland. From their makeshift home among the half-finished skyscrapers of Reykjavik, Moss travels to hillsides of boiling mud and volcanic craters, and the remote farms and fishing villages of the far north. She watches the northern lights and the comings and goings of migratory birds, and as the weeks and months go by, she and her family find new ways to live.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 22mm | 258g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • maps (black and white)
  • 1847084168
  • 9781847084163
  • 18,617

Review quote

One of the most enjoyable travel books I've read -- Helen Rumbelow * The Times * Beautifully written ... Moss grapples with new foods, customs and landscapes that are both oddly familiar and wildly alien in this absorbing memoir -- Carl Wilkinson * Financial Times * A fascinating and unusual book, a genuine news from nowhere, the gripping account of one person thinking and perceiving for herself -- Joanna Kavenna * Literary Review * Moss is a wry and a very good companion... and her book is as perceptive of the southern English middle-classes, as it is of Icelanders -- Kathleen Jamie * Guardian * A wry, intimate and beautifully-observed portrait of a culture both alien and familiar. Sarah Moss's account of her Icelandic sojourn is a vicarious treat -- Philip Marsden Holds an uncompromising mirror up to the British life that she has left behind. Honest, funny, frank, and insightful, it is a reassuring guide to the strangeness of being a stranger. An enviable experience beautifully described -- Gavin Francis [Moss] sheds light on the strangeness of the country for an outsider as well as on the Icelanders' ongoing trauma... Absorbing -- Emily Read * Spectator * A thoughtful and moving description of a country -- Giles Foden * Conde Nast Traveller * It is Moss's inquisitive excursions into the real and imagined Icelandic landscapes that enthral the most... engaging [and] expressive -- Rob St John * List * This tale perfectly evokes the country's natural splendours, but it's the colourful cast of friends and hangers-on that is so touching * National Geographic Traveller * Moss writes honestly... She mocks her won cultural assumptions drily -- Nancy Campbell * Times Literary Supplement * This delightful and appealing book is written in a crisp and insightful style... filled with descriptions of the northern landscape which capture it perfectly... Very funny * We Love This Book * Fantastic and perceptive... Moss is so subtle and skilled at what she does, as careful and precise a prose specialist as you will find, that it hangs together seamlessly and brilliantly * Big Issue * An insightful account of a year in a beguiling but often incomprehensible land of fire and ice... this is a delightful tale with a strong sense of place -- Duncan Mills * Traveller * Her wit, like her sensitivity to social matters, is complemented by her astoundingly alert writing about the natural world -- Kevin Canfield * Star Tribune * Always illuminating * Washington Post * Beautiful * Travelers Today * A wry memoir about a family who move to Iceland for a year in the aftermath of the financial crash. Moss discovers as much about herself as she does the Icelanders she writes about. -- Destination books this summer * Elle * A wonderful, meditative and informative introduction to a country that's both progressive and steeped in more myths, legends and sagas than any other... All Icelandic life is here * New European *
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About Sarah Moss

SARAH MOSS was educated at Oxford University and is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Warwick. She is the author of two novels; Cold Earth, and Night Waking, which was selected for the Fiction Uncovered Award in 2011, and the co-author of Chocolate: A Global History. She spent 2009-10 as a visiting lecturer at the University of Reykjavik.
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Rating details

2,744 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 17% (473)
4 44% (1,197)
3 31% (862)
2 6% (175)
1 1% (37)
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