‘A compulsive and propulsive debut’ - Lily King
‘A luminous and poetic novel . . . [Hjörleifsdóttir] has created a whole new landscape for storytelling’ - John Freeman
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 Hjörleifsdóttir explores the darkest corners of relationships, exposing the undercurrents of violence that often go undetected. In an era of growing pornification, she deftly illustrates the failings of our culture to recognize 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.