Broadcaster and journalist Sally Magnusson has written 10 books, most famously, her Sunday Times bestseller, Where Memories Go (2014) about her mother's dementia. Half-Icelandic, half Scottish, Sally has inherited a rich storytelling tradition. Her debut novel, The Sealwoman's Gift, was a Radio 2 Book Club and Zoe Ball Book Club selection, and was shortlisted for several prizes, including the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award, the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year, the Paul Torday Memorial Prize, the McKitterick Prize, the Waverton Good Read Award and the HWA Debut Fiction Crown. The Ninth Child, her second novel, publishes in spring 2020.
From the first, it leaps from the page... I found myself absolutely persuaded by Asta's extraordinary journey from the harsh Icelandic coast to the strange and splendid palaces of Algiers. I enjoyed and admired it in equal measure - Sarah Perry, author of THE ESSEX SERPENTA remarkable feat of imagination that trasports the reader to 17th-century Iceland and Algiers ... an extraordinarily immersive read that emphasises the power of stories, examining themes of motherhood, identity, exile and freedom. Through her deft storytelling, Magnusson takes us on a journey that not only crosses continents, but encompasses tragedy and rich sensuality. - GuardianAn evocative, striking new novel ... which brings an Icelandic historical tragedy, and in particular, Icelandic woman Asta Egilsson, back to pulsing life. - Sunday TimesMoving, accomplished ... Richly imagined and energetically told, The Sealwoman's Gift is a powerful tale of loss and endurance - Sunday TimesMagnusson has certainly done her research, and she has found in the silences of the historical record the space for a novel that moves gracefully between what is known and what must be imagined...Much of the pleasure of reading A Sealwoman's Gift is that of a good yarn well told. - TLSFascinating ... a really, really good read - BBC Radio 2 Book ClubSally Magnusson has turned this grim true story into a page-turner...beautifully told. - Radio TimesSally Magnusson writes compellingly of the psychological and physical shocks of being uprooted. Impeccably researched, this is a poetic retelling of Icelandic history. - Daily Mail