Children in Reindeer Woods


by Kristín Ómarsdóttir

April 17, 2012
novel | pb | 198 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"

"[A] daringly droll, wholly perturbing book." 
New York Times

Eleven-year-old Billie lives at a ‘temporary home for children’ called Children in Reindeer Woods, which she discovers one afternoon, to her surprise, is in the middle of a war zone. When a small group of paratroopers kill everyone who lives there with her,and then turn on each other, Billie is forced to learn to live with the violent, innocent, and troubled Rafael, who decides to abandon the soldier’s life and become a farmer, no matter what it takes.

A lyrical and continually surprising take on the absurdity of war and the mysteries of childhood,Children in Reindeer Woods is a moving modern fable. (Read an Excerpt)

Translated from the Icelandic by Lytton Smith

About the Author: Kristín Ómarsdóttir has published books of poetry, short stories, and novels, and written plays for the theatre in her native Iceland. She received Gríman, the Icelandic playwright award, in 2005 for her playTell Me EverythingChildren in Reindeer Woods is her first novel to be translated into English.

About the Translator: Lytton Smith is the author of The All-Purpose Magical Tent, and has translated works from Bragi Ólafsson, Jón Gnarr, and Kristín Ómarsdóttir, among others.


“Without a doubt, Children in Reindeer Woods is Kristín Ómarsdóttir’s best novel to date, and that’s saying a lot. . . . Her gifts come fully into their own in a story, also a polemic against war, handled with mastery.”
—Hrund Ólafsdóttir

 “The novel is often hilarious—but the undercurrent is heavy. . . . A complicated and fragile world where playing with Barbie dolls and guns go side by side.”
—Erna Erlingsdóttir, TMM