The budding American author, Jesse Ball, has been greatly inspired by Iceland for his recent books and artwork.
The author wrote his newest book “Samedi the Deafness” in Scotland and recently moved to Chicago but he is best known for his last book “Vera & Linus,” a book heavily influenced by his time in Iceland.
“Vera & Linus” was well received and critically admired. The books were written together with his wife, Thordis Bjornsdottir, who is well known in Iceland for her poetry and writing. Perhaps the most notable feature of the book was the way in which the short stories intertwined and the strange way the page numbering followed an approach even less linear than the narrative.
Vintage Books, Ball’s new publisher, has described the new book as “a dreamlike spy novel set in an asylum for curing chronic liars”. The story follows the character of James Sim as he attempts to unravel a mystery which involves someone by the name of Samedi.
Parts of the book, according to Publishers Weekly, “read like prose poetry” resulting in passages which are “highly imaginative but hard going”.
Ball first visited Iceland after college, during a period of his life characterised by travel and odd jobs interspersed with “writing, writing and writing.” It was there he met his Icelandic wife.
Ball returned to America to study at Columbia University and publish his first book of poetry. He then lived in France and resided for some time in Iceland. In addition to writing poetry and prose, Ball also illustrates books, including a book of his wife’s poetry.