Heida: A shepherd at the edge of the world
|Author:||Steinunn Sigurðardóttir & Heida Asgeirsdottir|
I'm not on my own because I've been sitting crying into a handkerchief or apron over a lack of interested men. I've been made every offer imaginable over the years. Men offer themselves, their sons...drunk fathers sometimes call me up and say things like: "Do you need a farmhand?" "I can lift the hay bales" "I can repair your tractors"... Heida is a solitary farmer with a flock of 500 sheep in a remorseless area bordering Iceland's highlands. It's known as the End of the World. One of her nearest neighbours is Iceland's most notorious volcano, Katla, which has periodically driven away the inhabitants of Ljotarstadir ever since people first started farming there in the twelfth century. This portrait of Heida written with wit and humour by one of Iceland's most acclaimed novelists, Steinunn Sigurdardottir, tells a heroic tale of a charismatic young woman, who at 23 walked away from a career as a model in New York to take over the family farm when her father died. I want to tell women they can do anything, and to show that sheep farming isn't just a man's game. I guess I've always been a feminist. When I was growing up, there was a female president, and I used to wear the same clothes and play with the same toys as the boys. It was just normal to me. Divided into four seasons, HEIDA tells the story of a remarkable year, interwoven with vivid stories of her animals and farm work and paints a unforgettable portrait of a remote life close to nature. We humans are mortal; the land outlives us, new people come, new sheep, new birds and so on but the land with its rivers and lakes and resources, remains.