The Windows of Brimnes: An American in Iceland

The Windows of Brimnes

An American in Iceland
“Bracing, shocking, a jolt of literary frisson.” —SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE
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Poet, musician, wit, and polemicist—Bill Holm is one of kind. A Minnesotan of Icelandic ancestry, his travels have taken him all over the world, providing material for a number of rich and memorable books.

In this, his most ambitious work to date—a book “as forceful, insightful, and lyrical as ever” (Los Angeles Times)—Holm repairs to Brimnes, his fisherman’s cottage on the shore of a fjord in northern Iceland. Looking west from this place of seemingly endless and kaleidoscopic light, and surrounded by little more than the sound of the sea and the birds beyond his windows, he considers America—“my home, my citizenship, my burden.”

In the tradition of Walt Whitman and Henry Thoreau, The Windows of Brimnes offers a singular perspective that is at once incisive and amusing, provocative and congenial.

Publish Date
5.5 × 8.5 × 0.63 in
11.5 oz

Bill Holm

Bill Holm was born in 1943 on a farm outside Minneota, Minnesota. He received a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1965 and an MA from the University of Kansas in 1967.

Praise and Prizes

  • “One can’t help but like Iceland and its inhabitants as Bill Holm hews them on the page… . The author himself remains the most captivating phenomenon in view.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • “Bill Holm, who looks like a cross between Robertson Davies and Father Christmas, is as forceful, insightful, and lyrical as ever in The Windows of Brimnes. A reader sinks almost immediately into the hands of a master storyteller, a true rambler.”

    Los Angeles Times
  • “Bill Holm writes prose that seems to have honed the font: Words on the page actually seem more sharply etched. The clarity is bracing, shocking, a jolt of literary frisson.”

    San Diego Union Tribune
  • “A good, old-fashioned read you’ll find yourself quoting to friends.”

    Jonis Agee
    author of The River Wife
  • “Bill Holm’s life in [this] place of spare beauty will make readers wish they had a Brimnes where they could restore their souls.”

    Saint Paul Pioneer Press
  • “Bill Holm’s voice is inimitable… . A pleasure to read and ponder.”

    *starred review*