The Scent of Light
Kristjana Gunnars — 2022
Kazim Ali reintroduces five autofiction novellas by feminist Icelandic writer and artist Kristjana Gunnars--for fans of The Baudelaire Fractal Between 1989 and 1996, Kristjana Gunnars published five linked novellas, all in the same fragmentary style, all helmed by the same narrator. They were autofictional before such a term existed; they presaged the work of writers like Rachel Cusk, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Ben Lerner, and Sheila Heti. From a childhood in Cold War Iceland to love affairs and deaths, these short works document a life of perpetual motion, told a discontinuous, subversive style to reflect the singular, feminist, nomadic life of the narrator. It is a life of thought, an ongoing engagement with writers from Proust to Kierkegaard and Kristeva, finding a companionship in the written texts of others that allows the narrator to leave questions unanswered, to follow the course of love. The Scent of Light brings these five novellas together for the first time, contextualized by an insightful and informative introduction by acclaimed poet Kazim Ali.