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Coming out in: 
France (Éditions Robert Laffont)
Germany (Hoffmann & Campe)
Denmark (Gyldendal)
Netherlands (De Geus)
Sweden (Norstedts)
Australia (Text) 
Spain (Penguin Random House Grupo)
Italy (La nave di Teseo)
Finland (WSOY)
Norway (Aschehoug)
UK and Commonwealth (Faber)
Brazil (Fosforo)
Hungary (Europa)
Faroe Islands (Sprotin)
Lithuania (Leidykla Sofoklis)
Russia (Polyandria)
Turkey (Domingo Yayinevi)
Arab World (Manshorat AlAfandi) 
Ukraine (Old Lion)

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
In the near future, in Reykavik, in a world like our own, society is divided about the controversial Empathy Test, which measures an individual’s capacity for compassion and identifies anti-social behaviour in citizens. Two thirds of the country, including public servants and politicians, have undergone the test, and ‘marked’ themselves in an official register, open to the public. One third remains ‘unmarked’ and more and more private and public spaces are closing their doors to them. In two months’ time, citizens face a national referendum, in which they will vote on whether the test should be mandatory or not. 
A novel exploring polarization, partisanship,
prejudice and empathy, The Mark heralds the full-length debut from one of Iceland’s most exciting
young authorial voices.
"This searingly brilliant novel is alive to the nuances in the debate ... Fríða Ísberg, like George Orwell and Anthony Burgess before her, lets the dystopian ironies speak for themselves."
- Times Literary Supplement
"Thought-provoking debut." 
- The Guardian
“We think of Aldous Huxley throughout this lively, breathless and very contemporary text.”
- Le Monde 
"Nothing more oppressive than other people’s good intentions—at least not in Frida Isberg’s gripping and sharply imagined novel. In a series of gradually intertwining plotlines, The Mark presents crucial ethical questions about the risks of social engineering and the boundaries of individual agency. Part of what makes Isberg’s novel so important is that it treats all sides of the argument with equal respect and nuance, something increasingly rare in our own polarized reality. An absolutely stunning debut."
– Hernan Diaz
"This novel is brilliant. It could be called ‘dystopian’ but its themes are so tangible, the characters are so real, that wouldn’t be quite right. The desire to be safe and normal becomes authoritarian; the fear of those who are different becomes discrimination. This future Iceland is hopelessly divided, politically and ideologically, in the name of erasing conflict and dissent. The Mark questions what it means to live in an apartheid built on good intentions – or are they?"
– Mariana Enríquez 
"I read Fríða Ísberg’s The Mark in a single gulp, unable to believe what was happening in its pages. In a time where martial savagery is met with increased rhetorical hygienics, where the ubiquity of relentless self-exposure makes the very notion of privacy feel quaint or even suspicious, Ísberg has written a masterpiece of public conscience and consciousness. The Mark moves in propulsive prose, between four main characters so singular and human and fallible, I feel I could pick up my phone right now and call any of them. Ísberg shows the consequences of a society where the data of fear and moral obviousness have cudgeled away our grace—The Mark is one of the most fascinating and ethically nourishing contemporary novels I’ve read in ages."
– Kaveh Akbar


“To call this novel scorchingly current is almost an understatement.”

                               - Dagens Nyheter

"The Mark asks profound political and philosophical questions ... This novel does for Culture Wars what Orwell did for totalitarianism."

- The Herald 


"Disturbingly good."

-  NRK


"It is all the more impressive when an author in 2023 manages to write a dizzyingly original dystopian novel with a premise that makes the mind flash with questions."

-  Politiken

“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, Fríða Ísberg takes a big step into the literary world.”

- P. O. Enquist Prize Jury

“The fictional ‘mark’ may divide opinions to the last, but with its fascinating concept, artful execution and admirable translation, Ísberg’s stirring novel makes an irresistible case for one of the standout translated titles of the summer."

- European Literature Network


"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."

- Tagesspiegel 

"Fríða Ísberg takes the murmur of the presentand orchestrates a biting, witty and mercilessmusic of tomorrow."                                           

- Andri Snær Magnason

"Countless reflections about the society we live in ... Fríða Ísberg deserves praise for daring to do something new."

- Morgunblaðið

"Its been a long time since I've read anything this remarkable. Phenomenal." 

- Skáld 

"The Mark is a tortuous book, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes alternating, between philosophical, serious, exciting and funny."

- Lestrarklefinn

"This is a remarkable novel." 

-  Kolbrún Bergþórsdóttir, Kiljan

"Simply incredibly reflective and sharp." 

- Þorgeir Tryggvason, Kiljan


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