On episode two of the podcast, I speak with the Icelandic poet, novelist, and activist Andri Snaer Magnason about his children’s novel The Casket Of Time.
We discuss writing for children, the importance of myth, and Robert Oppenheimer’s hemorrhoids.
Andri Snaer also elaborates on the task of switching voices and changing the tone of his writing. He started with poetry and then a children’s book and then a sci-fi novel and then a non-fiction polemic (which he also made into a documentary film). Andri Snaer may be best known for his activism and his non-fiction book, Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual For A Frightened Nation, but he is always drawn to storytelling and myth. He’s a strong believer, like the writer Jane Smiley, that all writing is political and has a point or a message.
The Casket Of Time is a homage to the fairy-tales of old or as he says “yet another story about a king and a princess,” but this is also a story about courage and strength and not hiding away when you’re needed the most. After 13 years of environmental activism, with gains made and battles lost, this fairy-tale doesn’t seem like an escape to fantasy but a reminder to himself and everyone else: don’t waste the time you have.
You can order The Casket Of Time here: