Valentines by Olaf Olafsson
Stories

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Synopsis

From the acclaimed Icelandic author of Absolution, The Journey Home (now about to start filming under Liv Ullmann’s direction) and Walking into the Night: a haunting collection of thematically linked stories that encompasses the twelve months of a year, capturing the most candid moments between lovers, husbands and wives, parents and children–when truths and true feelings surge to the surface and everything changes.

Olaf Olafsson’s fans will recognize the perfect restraint and precision–and quick wit–with which he characteristically explores these dark epiphanies, when the heart is suddenly laid bare, whether by love or betrayal, disenchantment or regret, or the shock of loss. While their settings range from the East Coast to the West Coast, from Paris to Slovenia and Iceland, these contemporary stories probe the complexity of modern relationships over time. A wife realizes her closest confidante is much more than that. A father tries to make his new lover into the image of his late wife. A lusty photographer confronts his own mortality. A couple’s long-anticipated anniversary vacation opens onto the past. A husband, a wife, a child, a boating accident: no harm done . . . and yet?

Each of the twelve stories reveals another element in the agonizing nature of passion, diminished and yet sustained over time. This is a powerful work of fiction from one of our most gifted and subtle international writers at work today.
 

About Olaf Olafsson

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Olaf Olafsson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1962. He studied physics as a Wien Scholar at Brandeis University. The author of three novels–The Journey Home, Absolution and Walking into the Night–he lives in New York City with his wife and three children.
 
Published January 30, 2007 by Pantheon. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Valentines

Kirkus Reviews

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The Icelandic-American novelist (Walking into the Night, 2003, etc.) titles the 12 stories in this collection after months of the year.

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Book Reporter

Olaf Olafsson's book of short stories catches 12 of these relationships right at their own individual points of crisis.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Valentines: Stories

Deseret News

In this new collection, Olaf Olafsson includes 12 short stories, one for every month.

Feb 11 2007 | Read Full Review of Valentines: Stories

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