'Profane, funny, and uncomfortably honest' - Brandon Taylor
Twenty-year-old Lilja is in love.
He is older and beautiful, a Derrida-quoting intellectual.
He is also a serial cheater, gaslighter and narcissist.
Lilja will do anything to hold on to him.
And so she accepts his deceptions and endures his sexual desires. She rationalizes his toxic behaviour and permits him to cross all her boundaries. In her desperation to be the perfect lover, she finds herself unable to break free from the toxic cycle. And then an unexpected ultimatum: an all-consuming love, or the promise of a life reclaimed.
Thora Hjoerleifsdottir explores the darkest corners of relationships, capturing an ugly, hidden nature of love. In an era of growing pornification, she deftly illustrates the failings of our culture in recognizing symptoms of cruelty. In visceral, poetic prose, translated from Icelandic by Meg Matich, Magma depicts the unspooling of a tender-hearted young woman aching to love and be loved.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 324 g
Dimensions: 223 x 143 x 26 mm
A compulsive, propulsive debut about a young woman's exploration of love and sex . . . Thora Hjorleifsdottir's narrator pulls us into the tale of her near undoing and her struggle to find her own value. -- Lily King, author of Writers & Lovers
A luminous and poetic novel . . . How to describe the slow escalation by which possession becomes control, and power abuse? [Hjoerleifsdottir] has created a whole new landscape for storytelling. -- John Freeman, author of How to Read a Novelist
A novel that speaks directly to its present age . . . An incredibly compelling book * Iceland National Radio *
Bulleted, candid, first-person prose that parallels the quickness in which women's lives can become less their own. * Lit Hub *
Unsettling . . . an achingly plausible mix of verve and bluntness . . . Throughout, Hjorleifsdottir's fresh prose disturbingly evokes the young woman's unmoored state. The burnished micro-chapters form a narrative necklace of gems. * Publishers Weekly *
Hjoerleifsdottir's heart-wrenching American debut is a raw and empathetic depiction of a woman so subtly manipulated into an abusive relationship that she loses her sense of self and cannot find a way out . . . masterfully written * Booklist *
Arresting . . . [Magma] urgently explores the challenges and costs of a young woman's passionate yet toxic relationship. * Time, "Best Books of Summer 2021" *
Beautifully spare prose . . . A powerful excavation of what can go wrong when you love another. -- Literary Hub, "38 Novels You Need to Read This Summer"
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“Unflinching, authentic portal of abuse”
Compact but full of realism. Brilliantly crafted portrayal of the dark side of relationships. Short read but deeply emotional and disturbing. Cautionary tale written with brilliant insight.
Magma is a very short novella (I finished it in a few hours), but it’s one of those stories that packs a punch and stays with you for a long time. Written in an almost diary-entry like fashion, we see snippets of... More
“Every woman should read this novel. Now.”
‘’An attractive man like me can’t be with a girl who’s slept with so many creeps.’’
A narcissistic parasite. A psychotic pervert. A psychological and physical abuser, son to another one of that stinky gang. Lilja.... More
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