Rights sold to:
France (Éditions Robert Laffont)
Germany (Hoffmann & Campe)
Netherlands (De Geus)
Spain (Penguin Random House Grupo)
Italy (La nave di Teseo)
UK and Commonwealth (Faber)
Faroe Islands (Sprotin)
Lithuania (Leidykla Sofoklis)
Contact Laurence Laluyaux
for foreign rights:
THE MARK, a novel. Published by Forlagið.
* The Bookseller's Award 2021 for Fiction
* The Icelandic Women's Prize 2022 for Fiction
* The Optimist Award 2022
* The Per Olov Enquist Prize 2022
The Mark is a polyphonic novel set in Reykjavík in the near-future, a society divided by a development in social technology—a diagnostic tool called The Empathy Test that measures compassion or amorality. In less than two months, a national referendum will determine whether ‘marking’ will become compulsory. Four main characters face dilemmas around their agency and autonomy while navigating everyday desires and duties, and the dawn of irreversible changes in healthcare ethics, socioeconomic stability and the cultural fabric lay bare the balance of their loyalties and conflicts.
A novel exploring polarization, partisanship,
prejudice and empathy, The Mark heralds the impactful, full-length debut from one of Iceland’s
most exciting young authorial voices.
"Fríða Ísberg takes the murmur of the present
and orchestrates a biting, witty and merciless
music of tomorrow."
- Andri Snær Magnason
“To call this novel scorchingly current is almost an understatement.”
- Johanna Käck, Dagens Nyheter
“Every sentence brings something new, every dialogue shifts the atmosphere in the room. With an eye for the contemporary and convincing attention for her characters, Frída Ísberg takes a big step into the literary world”
- P. O. Enquist Prize Jury
“Ísberg negotiates, in a very nuanced way, the implications of surveillance and normalization, which prototypically end up being just as sensitive and complex as the rest of the characters ... In the unpretentious metaphors Ísberg uses to describe the emotional states of her characters not only is her lyrical talent revealed, but her astonishing empathy across gender, generational and class barriers."
- Anja Kümmel, Tagesspiegel
"A future disturbingly close to us ... Fríða's idea
about the empathy test is absolutely brilliant, the
world is incredibly well built and intriguing. The
novel provides countless reflections about the society we live in ... Fríða Ísberg is a clever author and extremely sure-footed stylistically ... She deserves
praise for daring to do something new."
"Its been a long time since I've read anything this remarkable. Phenomenal."
"A gripping and unpredictable novel ... intriguing
style ... the imagery entertaining, ambiguous and
sleek ... One can 'sink into the story like a hot tub',
to quote the text itself."
"The Mark is a tortuous book, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes alternating between philosophical, serious, exciting and funny. The characters are not only written by the psycho-
logical intuition that also characterized Itching,
but they are also unusual and welcome into the
rather self-centered world of Icelandic literature
[...] a breath of fresh air."
"I have to tell it like it is - this is a remarkable
novel. [...] A book that hits the nail on the head."
- Kolbrún Bergþórsdóttir, Kiljan
"Her characters are so three-dimensional. They
are so full of contradictions, they have complex backgrounds, and she describes them with ...
well, that's when the poet Fríða Ísberg emerges
and gives us an insight to their worlds, state of
mind, feelings and their driving force. [...] Simply incredibly reflective and sharp."
- Þorgeir Tryggvason, Kiljan