(Sjón appears tonight at the Hugo House at 7 pm with a musical performance from Redwood Plan and a Q&A led by Ryan Boudinot. It's free. You should go.)
Ask any American who's traveled to Iceland, and they'll tell you they've been avalanched by Björk jokes from friends and family, with "So did you meet Björk?" as the most common question by far. Everybody knows the weird pixie-faced singer who once wore a swan dress to the Oscars is from Iceland, and so they stick Iceland in the Björk-hole in their head, ready to proudly unveil that reference if Iceland ever comes up in conversation.
So I suppose it's a blessing of sorts that Icelandic author Sjón has a Björk connection: He has written lyrics for Björk and was nominated for an Oscar for his lyrics in Dancer in the Dark. That way, when you're telling friends about this amazing author you've just discovered, you can incorporate the inevitable Björk reference into the conversation cleanly and without incident.
But Sjón deserves more than a Björk joke. Choose any of his three handsome books newly published in America by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and you'll see why.
Of the three, The Blue Fox ($10) is probably the most accessible...